Law of the sea forgotten in Christmas Island tragedy

Picture courtesy Channel 9

The recent coronial inquest into the Christmas Island boat tragedy that killed 50 people in December 2010 found fault in several places. Coroner Alastair Hope criticised people smugglers and the lack of rescue boats, and recommended better surveillance. But one critic believes the incident also showed that the traditional law of the sea is no longer being followed by Australian border authorities.

Author, refugee activist and former diplomat Tony Kevin believes the coroner’s criticisms and recommendations failed to go far enough. He told Catherine Zengerer  the incident shows a basic and disturbing change in the attitude of Border Protection and Customs to people in trouble at sea.


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This story first appeared on The Wire

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