Managing international migration in Australia

Human rights and the "last major redoubt of unfettered national sovereignty"

Brian Opeskin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Citations (Scopus)


This article challenges the view of many commentators that the capacity of liberal democracies to regulate international migration has been significantly compromised by the growth of international human rights norms and the role of independent judiciaries in enforcing those norms. Focusing on three Australian case studies that deal with deportation, mandatory detention of refugee claimants, and judicial review of migration decisions, the article concludes that international and domestic legal constraints still leave very substantial latitude to liberal democratic States to regulate the size and composition of international immigration flows. With only modest qualifications, migration policy remains "the last major redoubt of unfettered national sovereignty."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-585
Number of pages35
JournalInternational Migration Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

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