Manus settlement proves duty of care - lawyer

5:26 pm on 7 September 2017

A lawyer in Australia says the government has acceded it has a duty of care for its offshore detainees after reaching a settlement with men on Manus Island.

Manus refugees stage a protest outside motel of where they have been kept.

Manus refugees stage a protest outside motel of where they have been kept. Photo: Ian Rintoul

About 1300 current and former detainees out of 1900 who are eligible have registered to share in the $US56 million dollar compensation deal for suffering they endured in the Papua New Guinea detention centre.

The settlement was approved this week by a court in Victoria.

The lawyer Daniel Webb said even though the government argued it was not responsible for those it detained in other countries, the settlement proves that it is.

"At the court's door, when faced with the prospect of an actual court hearing they signed a $AU70 million dollar check.

"And I think that is important recognition that innocent people have suffered and that our government is responsible for that suffering both legally and morally."

Daniel Webb said the settlement did not protect Manus Island detainees from future harm the government might inflict.

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