What privatisation does to immigration detention

This is almost comical but sadly true (via the Canberra Times):

The Commonwealth Government is suing its former immigration detention operators for failing to protect it against lawsuits lodged by people kept in detention facilities.

The case will be heard in the South Australian Supreme Court on November 21.

It is part of a long-running case launched by former asylum-seeker Abdul Amir Hamidi, who won a confidential settlement against the Federal Government after almost five years in detention.

As The Canberra Times revealed on Saturday, Mr Hamidi’s lawyers predict that the confidential settlement will spark dozens more claims for damages.

In a case to be heard on November 21, the Commonwealth will claim its former detention centre operators – GSL and Australasian Correctional Services – breached their contracts by exposing the Government to the legal action.

The Commonwealth will argue both companies agreed to indemnify it against damages based on their running of Australian detention centres.

Australasian Correctional Services operated Australia’s mainland immigration detention facilities until early 2004.

Group 4 Falck Global Solutions Pty Ltd (which later changed its name to Global Solutions Limited, or GSL) commenced management of the centres in late 2003.

Both companies will fight the claim, with ACS arguing it had insufficient time to respond to the allegations and the terms of its agreement included dispute resolution measures.

GSL says it is not responsible for indemnifying the Commonwealth for any ”negligent, wilful, reckless or unlawful acts or omissions of the Commonwealth, its employees, officers or agents”.

Between 2000 and March 2010, detainees in Australian immigration detention centres were paid more than $12.3million in compensation for personal injury or unlawful detention.

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