The president of the Australian Human Rights Commission says the Australian government could be liable for all acts that take place in the processing of its asylum seekers on Nauru.
About 400 men are awaiting processing in the off-shore centre set up by Canberra, amid concerns about conditions there.
Gillian Triggs says the Commission believes it has a jurisdictional right to monitor the activities of the detention centre in Nauru.
She says if Australia is in effect controlling all the processing of asylum seekers there, they will also be responsible for those acts.
"If that is the case then Australia will under International Law be liable for all acts that take place in that process so my hope is that that will be understood both by the Australian government and by the Nauruan government and that we will be permitted to monitor activities."
Gillian Triggs says she will be raising her concerns with the Australian government.