A high court challenge to the Australian government’s offshore processing regime is still on the cards for later this year, despite the passing of rushed legislation through both houses of parliament.

  

Amendments to the Migration Act that enshrine in legislation the Commonwealth’s ability to make laws relating to the funding and facilitating of offshore processing centres passed the Senate on Thursday night.

The government had moved other legislation off the agenda in order to ram the legislation through before parliament rose for its six week winter recess. The finance minister, Mathias Cormann, had warned senators on Thursday morning that the chamber would sit as long as necessary to pass the changes.
The high court challenge started in May, and justice Geoffrey Nettle, who presided over a directions hearing on the case on Wednesday, acknowledged that the case would at the very earliest be heard in September, raising questions over why the legislation was introduced in such a rush.
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