Class action by Manus Island detainees
THE MANUS ISLAND DETAINEES' CLASS ACTION
WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?
- Class action on behalf of 1905 detainees held at Manus Island detention centre since 2012
- First of its kind to be heard by an Australian court
- Largest public examination of conditions and events at Manus Island detention centre, legal firm Slater and Gordon says
- Judge says it is not a commission of inquiry on merits of Australian government's offshore detention policy, but allegations against Commonwealth are serious
- Action launched by Slater and Gordon in December 2014
WHAT IS ALLEGED?
- That detainees suffered serious physical and psychological injuries as result of conditions in which they were held at Manus Island between November 2012 and 19 December 2014
- Includes period of February 2014 riots in which one detainee died
- Also seeking damages for false imprisonment following PNG Supreme Court decision that detention was unconstitutional
WHO ARE THE PLAINTIFFS?
- Lead plaintiff Iranian-born Majid Kamasaee, who was detained on Manus Island for number of years
- 1905 group members, covering majority of people detained on Manus Island since 2012
- About 1500 of them are either overseas or still in detention on Manus Island or in Australia
WHO ELSE IS INVOLVED?
- Commonwealth of Australia
- Service providers G4S and Broadspectrum (formerly Transfield) who operated centre under contract from Commonwealth
- Third parties - International Health and Medical Services (medical service provider on Manus) and Wilson Security
WHAT ABOUT THE TRIAL ITSELF?
- Begins in Victorian Supreme Court on May 15
- To last six months
- To be live streamed around the world
- 220,000 documents disclosed during proceedings; could be thousands more during trial
- Witnesses include current and former detainees; detainees sent to Australia for medical treatment; doctors who worked at detention centre; security workers; social workers
- Includes 41 current Manus Island detainees; eight people currently held in Australian detention centres
- 28 expert reports
Source: Slater and Gordon, Victorian Supreme Court
© AAP 2017