Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Australian court rejects challenge to India travel ban



Australian court rejects challenge to India travel ban

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this month shut the door to all travel from India. AFP

Australian court rejects challenge to India travel ban

An emergency legal challenge to Australia's contentious ban on citizens returning from Covid-struck India failed on May 10, dashing stranded travellers' hopes of an immediate return.

Federal Justice Thomas Thawley ruled that the government had not overstepped its biosecurity powers in banning Australians from returning home temporarily.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this month shut the door to all travel from India, fearing a large number of Covid-positive arrivals would overwhelm Australia's already strained quarantine facilities.

The move stranded an estimated 9,000 Australian citizens and threatened them with large fines and jail time if they tried to dodge the ban and return on non-direct flights.

Thawley ruled that Morrison acted within the law, dashing the hopes of a 73-year-old Australian man who brought the case as he tries to return from Bangalore.

During the hearing, a government lawyer argued that biosecurity rules are a "bulldozer" that can clear away any other rights.

The judge did not rule on the more complex question of whether the decision was unconstitutional, an issue that is set to be taken up at a later date.

After widespread public outcry, Morrison indicated that the ban will not be extended beyond May 15.

But with the pandemic still raging and access to Australia set to be severely restricted until at least 2022, the case was being closely watched.

Since March 2020, Australians have been barred from travelling overseas and a hard-to-get individual exemption is needed for foreign visitors to enter the country.

MOST VIEWED

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They