Asylum seeker to challenge legality of PNG deal

THE political deal which is already sending hundreds of refugees to Papua New Guinea may face a legal challenge, but the government is expected to fight it.

Under the challenge, an unidentified asylum-seeker is understood to be challenging the declaration of PNG as a suitable offshore processing country.

The challenge is on similar grounds to the High Court case that put an end to the Malaysia Solution touted under the Labor Government.

However, media reports on Tuesday showed the case, first filed in the Federal Court, may be struck out under application by the government.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus was quoted as saying the government would see to have the application struck out before it was heard.

It is understood lawyers for the asylum-seeker are considering taking the case to the High Court if it cannot be heard at the lower jurisdiction.

The news comes as more than 300 new refugees have been intercepted in seas near Christmas Island since Sunday.

All those who have arrived on the three most recent arrivals remained subject to transfer to PNG under the existing deal.