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Abstract from

Privatised Immigration Detention Services: Challenges and Opportunities for Implementing Human Rights

Tania Penovic is a lecturer at the Faculty of Law and a Deputy Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University.

The management of closed environments such as prisons and immigration detention facilities has traditionally been a core function of the state. The decision to outsource the management of such facilities in Australia has followed a global trend towards private delivery of government services. The management of Australia’s immigration detention facilities was outsourced in 1998 and has operated under three principal contractual regimes. This article examines these regimes and considers the challenges and opportunities they have presented to the realisation of human rights. It concludes that privatisation has undermined the realisation of human rights, with the conditions of detention and treatment of detainees undermined by cost cutting, the removal of direct ministerial responsibility and insufficient transparency and monitoring.

(2014) Vol 31 Law in Context p10

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