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MIGRATION ACT 1958 - SECT 198AB

Regional processing country

             (1)  The Minister may, by legislative instrument, designate that a country is a regional processing country .

          (1A)  A legislative instrument under subsection (1):

                     (a)  may designate only one country; and

                     (b)  must not provide that the designation ceases to have effect.

          (1B)  Despite subsection 12(1) of the Legislation Act 2003 , a legislative instrument under subsection (1) of this section commences at the earlier of the following times:

                     (a)  immediately after both Houses of the Parliament have passed a resolution approving the designation;

                     (b)  immediately after both of the following apply:

                              (i)  a copy of the designation has been laid before each House of the Parliament under section 198AC;

                             (ii)  5 sitting days of each House have passed since the copy was laid before that House without it passing a resolution disapproving the designation.

             (2)  The only condition for the exercise of the power under subsection (1) is that the Minister thinks that it is in the national interest to designate the country to be a regional processing country.

             (3)  In considering the national interest for the purposes of subsection (2), the Minister:

                     (a)  must have regard to whether or not the country has given Australia any assurances to the effect that:

                              (i)  the country will not expel or return a person taken to the country under section 198AD to another country where his or her life or freedom would be threatened on account of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion; and

                             (ii)  the country will make an assessment, or permit an assessment to be made, of whether or not a person taken to the country under that section is covered by the definition of refugee in Article 1A of the Refugees Convention as amended by the Refugees Protocol; and

                     (b)  may have regard to any other matter which, in the opinion of the Minister, relates to the national interest.

             (4)  The assurances referred to in paragraph (3)(a) need not be legally binding.

             (5)  The power under subsection (1) may only be exercised by the Minister personally.

             (6)  If the Minister designates a country under subsection (1), the Minister may, by legislative instrument , revoke the designation.

             (7)  The rules of natural justice do not apply to the exercise of the power under subsection (1) or (6).

             (9)  In this section, country includes:

                     (a)  a colony, overseas territory or protectorate of a foreign country; and

                     (b)  an overseas territory for the international relations of which a foreign country is responsible.



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