Welcome to the Asylum Seeker and Refugee Law Project Blog. We are a group of students from The University of Queensland with a passion for social justice, in particular seeing that asylum seekers coming to Australia are dealt with in a fair manner consistent with natural justice.

With the support of Dr Peter Billings we have reinvigorated the Blog with the aim of exploring and critically analyse Australian refugee law and policy and its human effects.

Staying in line with the original contributors’ vision for the blog, we will be debunking myths surrounding political parties asylum seeker and refugee policies in the lead up to the current election. Presently, however, we will be looking into the upcoming case of Plaintiff S138/2012 that is expected to be heard before the Full Court of the High Court of Australia in June. There are many more exciting posts coming, so stay tuned.

– ARLP Blog Contributors


Dr Peter Billings is a Senior Lecturer at the TC Beirne, School of Law, University of Queensland and Director, UQ Pro Bono Centre.

Jess Thrower

Jess is in her final year of a Law/Journalism dual degree at UQ. After studying Immigration and Refugee Law in 2012, she has become increasingly concerned about the lack of informed debate about forced migration issues in the Australian media. In her spare time, Jess volunteers at the Refugee and Immigration Legal Service and teaches group fitness classes at the Uni gym.

Paris Astill-Torchia

Paris is in her  final year of an Law/ Arts degree majoring in International Relations and Spanish. The issues facing refugees and asylum seekers is something which she was able to explore in my International Relations courses but from a very different perspective to what is often put forward in the Media. Particularly in the current Australian political climate, she believes it is really important that the public get a balanced and accurate view of the issue.

Rutaban Yameen

Rutaban is currently undertaking studies in Arts/Law at UQ, majoring in Philosophy. She is deeply concerned about social justice issues and their political implications and causes. In her spare time, Rutaban enjoys surfing YouTube for political rap and hiphop, and discussing Indian and Middle Eastern history with her Dad.

Sarah Brown

Sarah is in her final year of a Law/Economics degree. While on exchange at the University of Copenhagen, she enjoyed undertaking a course on Refugee law which sparked her interest in the challenges involved in creating and implementing refugee and asylum seeker law and policy. In her free time, Sarah can be found in coffee shops discussing these issues and planning her trip to New York.

Steph Hayes

I am in my sixth and final year of a dual Arts/Laws degree majoring in Spanish. Studying Immigration and Refugee Law has been one of the highlights of my law degree, and I am a regular volunteer at the Romero Centre, assisting unaccompanied minors as they complete their applications for family reunion. I am new to the Asylum and Refugee Law Project this year and, in addition to writing for the blog, am enjoying visiting high schools around Brisbane to deliver objective and informed lessons about the basics of refugee and asylum law. I love to go rock climbing in my spare time, and making the most of my housemate’s vinyl record collection at home.

At the launch of this blog you might have seen the Project mentioned in:

The Sydney Morning Herald

Brisbane Times