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Australia softens controversial detention requirement for illegal immigrants

[JURIST] Australia has abandoned mandatory detention for some illegal immigrants, one of the most criticized provisions of its immigration law, releasing dozens of children on Thursday. Australia's courts also paved the way for over 1,000 asylum-seekers to avoid deportation. Prime Minister John Howard [official website] announced the changes last month in response to criticism [JURIST report] that the laws were too restrictive [JURIST report]. Earlier changes were criticized as well for lack of specificity in how they would be implemented [JURIST report]. The court ruling now provides that asylum seekers may not be deported when their temporary visas expire unless their country of origin is safe. AFP has more.

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