Open Letter to Prime Minister – 2014-15

From members of Australia’s academic community

Prime Minister
Parliament House

Dear Prime Minister,

This letter reflects the concerns of Australian academics whose areas of expertise include refugee law; political science; international law; history; psychiatry; psychology; education; social work; criminology; economics; business studies; sociology; social policy; nursing; philosophy; literature; linguistics, languages and cultures; the humanities; medicine; legal studies; journalism studies; anthropology; development studies; childhood studies; public health; science; community welfare; music; health care; architecture; urban planning; environmental sciences; and human rights.

We believe that the current approach to dealing with asylum seekers arriving by boat, especially off-shore detention and claims determination, is seriously flawed and unsustainable.

It breaches Australia’s international legal obligations, including its obligations as a party to the Refugee Convention. It demonstrably harms the physical and psychological health of detainees.

Furthermore, it seriously undermines the status and good name of Australia as an international citizen.

We call on the Australian government to close the detention centres on Manus Island and in Nauru immediately.

Your sincerely,
Academics from Australian tertiary institutions


Academics can add their name to the Open Letter here.

A list of all signatures is available here.

A PDF version of the Open Letter is available here.


Further information or media inquiries

Please contact:

Professor Philomena Murray
Jean Monnet Chair ad personam
School of Social and Political Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010. Australia
Tel. +61 3 8344 5151
Email: pbmurray [at]