Extracts from the recent Australian high court decision on China's one child policy and refugee status

2017-05-05T04:15:19Z (GMT) by People and Place
The following extracts are taken from the judgments in ‘Applicant A’ & Anor v Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs & Anor, the High Court, 24 February 1997. The appellants in the case were a married couple, nationals of the People’s Republic of China, who already had one child and wished to have at least one more. They had arrived by boat in Northern Australia without visas, and said that they feared compulsory sterilisation if they were returned to China. They then requested refugee status, arguing that they faced persecution in the form of compulsory sterilisation because of their membership of a ‘particular social group’, those who already had one child and wanted more. The appellants are termed ‘Applicant A’ (the husband) and ‘Applicant B’ (the wife). See accompanying article. The case was heard by five judges of the High Court: Sir Gerard Brennan, the chief justice, Michael Kirby, Daryl Dawson, Michael McHugh, and Bill Gummow. The judgments were split two/three: Brennan and Kirby found for the appellants while Dawson, McHugh and Gummow found for the respondents. Copyright. Monash University and the author/s