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In 1945, the small Banaban community of Ocean Island (Banaba) in present-day Kiribati was relocated to Rabi Island in Fiji. The Balabans were ostensibly moved due to irreversible damage done to Ocean Island during Japanese occupation in the Second World War. However, this was largely a convenient excuse to facilitate the wholesale phosphate mining of the island by the British Phosphate Commission, a consortium of the British, Australian and New Zealand governments. The Banaban relocation provides a rare example of a whole community seeking to re-establish itself in another State. This article charts the Banabans’ bids for independence during the 1960–70s, revealing novel responses to complex questions of self-determination and governance, including legal status, nationality, political representation, and rights to land and resources. While their experience cannot be universalised, it is relevant to contemporary deliberations about the possible future relocation of Pacific communities impacted by climate change.

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Report of the International Law Association Committee on International Law and Sea Level Rise
This book contains the final version of the 2018 Report of the International Law Association (ILA) Committee on International Law and Sea Level Rise, as well as the related ILA Resolutions 5/2018 and 6/2018, both as adopted by the ILA at its 78th Biennial Conference, held in Sydney, Australia, 19–24 August 2018. In Part I of the Report, key information about the establishment of the Committee, its mandate and its work so far is presented. Part II of the Report addresses key law of the sea issues through a study of possible impacts of sea level rise and their implications under international law regarding maritime limits lawfully determined by the coastal States, and the agreed or adjudicated maritime boundaries. Part III of the Report addresses international law provisions, principles and frameworks for the protection of persons displaced in the context of sea level rise.
In: Yearbook of International Disaster Law Online

Abstract

In March 2020, Australia became one of a handful of democratic states worldwide to adopt a blanket prohibition on the right of citizens to leave its territory, whether temporarily or permanently, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Health Regulations, which bind all members of the World Health Organization (‘WHO’), including Australia, provide an international legal framework to guide the public health response to the international spread of disease in a manner which respects human rights and fundamental freedoms. The right to freedom of movement in international human rights law is enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (‘ ICCPR ’), which Australia ratified in 1990. Although states can place restrictions on freedom of movement to protect public health, they must be appropriate to achieve their protective function, the least intrusive instrument which might achieve the desired result, and proportionate to the interest to be protected. This article argues that in adopting sweeping restrictions on outbound travel, Australia re-purposed aspects of its migration control regime—ordinarily employed to externalise its international border and prevent people from entering the country—in order to prevent Australian citizens and permanent residents from leaving Australia. The outbound travel restrictions further bypassed an analysis of the intrusiveness and proportionality of the measures themselves, and shifted the burden onto individuals to request an exemption where the regulation of exit proved overly intrusive or disproportionate in their particular circumstances. In examining parliamentary transcripts, press statements by government officials, and recently revealed data regarding outbound travel exemptions, this article raises serious questions regarding the legality of the restrictions over time and their implementation in light of international law.

In: The Australian Year Book of International Law Online