Coloniality and Case Law on the Australian Asylum Offshoring Scheme (2023)

Mohammed Kazem, Even the shadow does not belong to them (2018), Biennale Lyon 2022

This article presents an analysis of case law from Nauru, Australia and Papua New Guinea concerning the Australian offshoring scheme for asylum seekers. Its specific focus is to enquire to what extent and how colonial conceptual and ideological patterns of thought play a role in the reasoning of the courts involved. The analysis shows the Australian averseness to have its external action in former colonies subjected to international (human rights) law; and the juggling of sovereignty so that it justifies the administration of policies in former colonies. However, it also shows resistance to this coloniality, be it from actors with relatively little power. These insist on application of well-developed international human rights norms to Australian administration of its policies in two former colonies, and to some extent incorporate international power relations into their sovereignty reasoning. Other courts in the global South have engaged more fundamentally with core assumptions of international migration law.

Coloniality and Case Law on the Australian Offshoring Scheme, International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 7(2023)2, 132-148