The Australian Border Force Act will face its first major test next week, when the Supreme Court of Victoria might bypass gag orders placed on Immigration workers in order for them to give evidence about the treatment of asylum seekers on Christmas Island.

Under the Australian Border Force Act -- passed by the government with Labor support last year -- it is a criminal offence, punishable by up to two years' jail, for any person working directly or indirectly for the Department of Immigration to disclose information about what happens in detention centres. That would include doctors, security guards, not-for-profit charity workers, and anyone else involved in the operation of detention centres both in Australia and overseas on Nauru and Manus Island.