Nairobi court invalidates Kenyan government’s order to close Dadaab refugee camp

Last year, the Kenyan government announced that it would close Dadaab refugee camp, repatriate Somali refugees, and disband the Department of Refugees. On February 9, 2017, a decision of the High Court in Nairobi invalidated the government’s planned course of action. The court held that return of Somali refugees would violate the 1951 Refugee Convention’s norm of non-refoulement and constitute discrimination prohibited by the Kenyan Constitution. The failure to consider individual cases under prevailing law was deemed to violate the Kenyan Fair Administrative Action Act. Further, the court held that the government lacked authority to close the Department of Refugees, which would require legislation enacted by the Parliament.

Australian Court Restrains Government from Breaching Duty of Care to Pregnant Refugee in Nauru

The Australian government has been criticized for a raft of its asylum seeker policies, perhaps the most notorious of which is its removal of “unlawful non-citizens” to two offshore processing centers—one in Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and the other in the Republic of Nauru—and the protracted detention of asylum seekers in those facilities. This is an ongoing human rights concern. Notwithstanding the government’s announcement late last year that it would settle some of these detainees in the United States, the Prime Minister has said that that arrangement is a “one-off”; it will not be repeated. The Immigration Minister has stated that the offshore detention policy will not change and that Nauru, at least, “will remain in its current status forever”. In any event, the fate of the US-Australia deal is anything but certain, after President Trump blasted it as the “worst deal ever”.