Jan 22, 2014

Australia should leave Nauru alone — we’re doing more harm than good

Journalist and Pacific islands researcher Nic Maclellan argues that calls for Canberra to intervene in Nauru’s judicial crisis underplay Australia’s responsibility for the current mess.

Crikey‘s Monday editorial says “the Australian government is going to have to get involved” in Nauru after the purported sacking of magistrate Peter Law and Chief Justice Geoffrey Eames. Guy Rundle calls it a coup and says “the Australian government can’t help but involve itself in this outrageous abuse of presidential power”. But what if intervention from Canberra is the cause of the problem, rather than the solution?

There are many different players responsible for the threat to judicial oversight in Nauru, which damages the rights of Nauruan citizens as well as the hundreds of asylum seekers and refugees detained on the island. However, sheeting home the blame only to Nauru President Baron Waqa and Justice Minister David Adeang, who are responsible for the judicial sackings, underplays Canberra’s contribution to the current chaos.

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3 thoughts on “Australia should leave Nauru alone — we’re doing more harm than good

  1. JMNO

    Thanks for this comprehensive report.

  2. AR

    “Nauruan citizens”?!? What do they or their rights have to do with anything pertaining to their overlords vicious political requirements?

  3. Claritas

    This action by David Adeang is a throwback to a long history by Nauru politicians of acting in their own personal interests whatever the cost to their country. Yes, it’s terrible that Australia’s filled Nauru with asylum seekers. But this particular issue with the sacking of the magistrate and the blocking of the Chief Justice from coming to Nauru is a purely Nauruan issue based on the minister’s anger that a court decision against a political enemy went against him.

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