Book Chapter

Prosecuting and partnering for social change: Law, social movements and australia’s mandatory detention for refugees and asylum seekers

J Balint, Austin Sarat

Studies in Law, Politics and Society | Studies in Law, Politics, and Society | Emerald Group Publishing Limited | Published : 2019

Abstract

This chapter discusses the use of law and legal institutions by the emerging social movement seeking to end Australia’s policy of mandatory detention for refugees and asylum seekers. Through an examination of Australian inquiries and court cases alongside social campaigns, it considers the ability of legal institutional responses to identify the harms, in particular state and institutional responsibility, and the subsequent impact of these legal processes in inhibiting and promoting social and structural change. It shows how social movements are harnessing law and creating new legal and civic spaces in which to contest Australia’s refugee and asylum seeker regime.