30 Apr 2004

Nauru chief justice reserves judgement on asylum seekers' case

3:37 pm on 30 April 2004

Nauru's Chief Justice is expected to deliver a judgement in the next few weeks on a Supreme Court case on the legality of detaining asylum seekers on Australia's behalf.

The hearing's to test the validity of the visas, which require asylum seekers to remain locked up for all their time in Nauru.

This comes after the Chief Justice recommended Nauru's Justice Minister, Russell Kun, order the Australian government's appointed lawyers to return home.

Earlier, the minister revoked the visas of the Australian lawyers, led by Melbourne QC Julian Burnside, who were to have acted for the Ayslum seekers.

Mr Burnside says the Chief Justice has reserved his judgement.

"The case proceeded on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning with Nauruan paralegals on either side, in each case reading out or paraphrasing submissions which had been prepared by the Australian lawyers. On late Thursday morning, the Chief Justice of Nauru concluded the case and reserved his judgement, and we expect he will deliver a judgement in the next few weeks."