Faculty of law blogs / UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

Indefinite Detention and the HCA Ruling: A conversation with Behrouz Boochani


Behrouz Boochani
Claire Loughnan
Lecturer in Criminology, University of Melbourne, Australia


Time to read

2 Minutes

This post is part of a series by members of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology's thematic group on Crimmigration and Border Control, covering the latest High Court of Australia's decision that indefinite immigration detention is unlawful. You can see other projects being undertaken by group members on the ANZSOC_Borders webpage which is now included on the Border Criminologies website.

In this interview, Behrouz and Claire discuss the 2023 decision  of the High Court of Australia that indefinite immigration detention is unlawful, leading to the immediate release of 92 people, 78 of whom are owed protection.  Indefinite detention has been a key plank of Australian border protection policies for 20 years. Behrouz discusses the harmful effects of indefinite immigration detention, and reflects on the response by the Australian government to introduce new laws to police those released through electronic monitoring, as a new form of punishment.



Behrouz Boochani is a Kurdish-Iranian writer, advocate and filmmaker who has produced award-winning publications and creative works, documenting the violence of immigration detention prisons. Boochani was imprisoned in Papua New Guinea under by Australia under its ‘offshore processing’ policies for six years. His book No Friend but the Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison (Picador 2018) has won numerous awards including the 2019 Victorian Prize for Literature, and Boochani has recently published an edited collection of his articles in Freedom, Only Freedom (Bloomsbury Academic, 2023), edited by Omid Tofighian and Moones Mansoubi. 


Dr Claire Loughnan is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne. Her research examines diverse sites of confinement and the carceral expansion accompanying border control practices. She has published widely on the harmful effects of Australia’s border security policies and lawsShe is a research partner with the EU-funded Comparative Network on of the Externalisation of Refugee Policies, and committee member of the Carceral Geography Working Group of the Royal Geographical Society and the Institute of British Geographers. 

How to cite this blog post (Harvard style):

B. Boochani and C. Loughnan. (2023) Indefinite Detention and the HCA Ruling: A conversation with Behrouz Boochani. Available at:https://blogs.law.ox.ac.uk/border-criminologies-blog/blog-post/2023/12/indefinite-detention-and-hca-ruling-conversation. Accessed on: 13/06/2024

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