It's the cornerstone of the expert panel report and Australia's new asylum seeker policy, but the government still hasn't decided what a "no advantage" principle means.

The report that inspired Labor's policy -- authored by Angus Houston, Michael L'Estrange and Paris Aristotle -- explains: "Asylum seekers gain no benefit by choosing not to seek protection through established mechanisms." Or in other words, asylum seekers who come by boat will have to wait just as long in Nauru or Manus Island as they would if they'd stayed in Malaysia, Indonesia or wherever.