Kerry Murphy; 7/10/09
Kerry Murphy is a partner with the specialist immigration law firm D’Ambra Murphy Lawyers. He is a student of Arabic, former Jesuit Refugee Service coordinator, teaches at ANU and is one of Australia’s top immigration lawyers recognised by last year’s Australian Financial Review Best Lawyers survey.
‘Complementary protection’ is a new idea in Australian migration law. A Bill to introduce complementary protection is now before the Parliament. It will extend Australia’s protection obligations to other areas of international human rights law which previously could not be directly accessed. The changes mean that people who previously did not meet the narrow refugee definition, but for various reasons could not be sent back to their home country, may now be able to get protection in Australia. This includes people who may come under the Torture Convention and International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Some examples of people who fit the complementary definition may include those who are at genuine risk of execution in their home country. In Iran, homosexuals have been executed, while in some countries women are at risk of execution for accusations of ‘adultery’, which in some cultures has a very wide definition. Such cases may or may not meet the refugee definition, but will benefit from complementary protection.