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Rau Guardian To Ask Immigration Department For Apology And Compensation
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 7, 2005

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA--Cornelia Rau, the Australian woman who was improperly detained for 10 months by immigration authorities, will be asking for an apology and compensation from the government, her legal guardian told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation this week.

John Hardy, the South Australian public advocate that represents 39-year-old Rau, told ABC Radio that he would file a claim against the Immigration Department for failing to provide adequate medical and mental health treatment for the woman, who has schizophrenia.

"I think the minimum they can do is apologize," Hardy said. "And I would have expected that Cornelia would have a substantial claim for damages for the way in which the duty of care owed to her by the department has been breached."

Human rights lawyer Julian Burnside told the Australian Associated Press that Rau could expect to receive up to half a million dollars for the false imprisonment which Hardy claims may have worsened her mental illness.

"When the government locks up Cornelia Rau for the best part of a year you could guess it would be a pretty substantial amount," Burnside said. "My instinct is a quarter of a million, half a million might be about the right figure. I'm actually fairly conservative in these matters."

The government is waiting for an official report from the federal investigation into Rau's wrongful detention and that of more than 200 others who claimed to be held improperly.

Related stories from The Age:
"More damning detention centre reports"
"Now let's have some action"
"Rau to seek compensation and apology"
"Rau due half a million: lawyer"
"The abuse of one exposes what we're doing to them"
"Queensland female immigrants can look elsewhere"


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