A court in Adelaide is hearing from the mother of five children in immigration detention as part of submissions to decide whether to order their release.


The woman, who is seven months pregnant and had been undergoing treatment in an Adelaide hospital, was this morning taken to the court in a wheelchair.

Family Court Justice Steven Strickland last week ruled that the children’s detention was unlawful, but decided there was insufficient evidence to order their immediate release.

He consequently sought more information about how the children would be cared for and the psychological effect of a possible temporary release, before making a decision on whether they should be freed.

A lawyer for the children, Jeremy Moore says he will submit psychological evidence that the children will be better off if they are released.

“We just keep on hopefully addressing those concerns. and providng the evidence and we will have a psychologist there and she’s available to be cross-examined and hopefully at the end of the day, the court listens to our submissions and releases the children.”

The Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock is opposing the release arguing that it would be psychologically disruptive to release the children on an interim basis because the matter is scheduled to go to trial on September 15 and the children could be returned to detention.

Mr Ruddock will also launch a High Court appeal at the end of September challenging the family court’s ruling that indefinite detention of children is illegal and the court has the authority in such circumstance to order their release.

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