A Tamil family will remain in legal limbo on Christmas Island for the foreseeable future, with their deportation case now hinging on an upcoming court battle.
On Thursday afternoon, shortly before an order preventing their forcible removal to Sri Lanka expired, Federal Court judge Mordy Bromberg said the family had a legal case that needed to be decided at trial.
The family, whose case rests on their two-year-old daughter and her right to apply for a protection visa, cannot be deported by the Australian government until the matter is decided through the court system.
A date has not yet been set for their case to be heard.
#BREAKING – Federal Court judge rules there IS a prima facie case for Tamil asylum seeker two-year-old Tharnicaa that will go to trial. Family CANNOT be deported while that hearing is underway. #bilo #hometobilo @abcnews @abcmelbourne pic.twitter.com/p6zaBfCGe6
— James Oaten (@james_oaten) September 19, 2019
Priya and Nades Murugappan and daughters Tharunicaa, two, and Kopika, four, had previously settled in the Queensland township of Biloela.
They were being deported in August, under instruction by the federal government, when their flight was ordered to land due to a late-night court injunction.
The family has since been detained in “jail-like” conditions on Christmas Island.
Tharunicaa, despite being Australian-born, would normally also be refused refugee status due to legislation blocking children of asylum seekers who arrive by boat from accessing the nation’s protection.