A supplied image obtained Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 or Baby Ferouz and his mother Latifar.
A supplied image obtained Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014 or Baby Ferouz and his mother Latifar. MAURICE BLACKBURN LAWYERS

Residency plea rejected for baby Ferouz

THE Australian-born baby who is the subject of a high-profile legal application surrounding his permanent residency has had his latest bid for freedom rejected.

The Full Bench of the Australian Federal Court handed down its decision late on Thursday afternoon.  

But in softening his tough stance, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said, shortly before the decision was handed down, the 31 babies, including Ferouz, born to illegal maritime arrivals would be allowed to remain in Australia to have their protection claims assessed.  

However it remains unclear on what will happen to them if their claim is rejected.  

"Along with those 31 babies, I am also allowing their immediate family members to have their protection claims assessed in Australia," he said.  

"This includes their mothers, fathers and siblings.   

"That is, around 80 family members, all of whom are already in Australia having been transferred from Nauru, for the birth of their child."  

Baby Ferouz's plight made headlines across the nation after the Federal Government denied him a protection visa saying he was an unauthorised maritime arrival.  

A spokeswoman for Maurice Blackburn, who represented Baby Ferouz, said the firm took on the case because of its belief these babies were entitled to have their claims for refugee status considered.   

"Importantly, these babies and their families have only cleared the first hurdle but they still need to have their applications for refugee status considered," she said.  

"However, they at least now have that right and do not face imminent removal to Nauru.  

"Maurice Blackburn remains concerned about the welfare of all asylum seekers who remain in detention, but it is important to recognise that today's announcement is a positive step forward."  

The Brisbane Federal Court rejected an application in October, but lawyers for the baby immediately appealed the decision in the hope the toddler would not spend another birthday in detention.  

Ferouz was born prematurely in Brisbane's Mater Hospital in November, 2013, after his mother was transferred from the detention centre on Nauru due to concerns about her pregnancy.