Villawood 9b - Normal Compliance Operations


Standard Operating Procedures: ‘Normal Compliance Operations’

Immigration authorities quickly cast the Rauluni’s death as an ‘unexpected death’. As part of a well-rehearsed set of formalities, then Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, described Josefa Rauluni’s death as a ‘tragic incident’ and extended his sympathies to the family of ‘the man’. Further, he stated that Mr Rauluni did not arrive by boat and that ‘he was detained for removal purposes’; he said ‘his removal was part of normal compliance operations’. In several interviews the Minister emphasised that ‘the gentleman’ had exhausted avenues of appeal and that tribunals made decisions on cases based on the ‘facts’ they have before them. The implication is that the circumstances surrounding Josefa Rauluni’s death were merely an inevitable consequence of his failure to make a successful appeal.

The narrative of an ‘unexpected death’ attempts to absolve the Department and its contractors of responsibility. Rauluni’s death must not be seen as an ‘unexpected death.’ On the contrary, his death emerges as a procedural outcome of the involuntary ‘removals’ and the ‘normal compliance operations’ of the Immigration Department.


Both ‘removals’ and ‘normal compliance operations’ operate as violent forms of standard operating procedures that systemically generate suicides and other forms of death in detention.

Two people stand behind a coffin shrouded with a covering bearing Josefa Rauluni's name and adorned with white and yellow flowers. They stand on a suburban street and appear to be transporting the coffin from one place to another.
Mourners dressed in black are gathered at the site of Josefa Rauluni's grave.[imagecaption] Josefa Rauluni’s funeral, Griffith, NSW, 2010. Photo: Finau, published on Matavuvale Network[/imagecaption]



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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are respectfully advised that this website contains images of and references to deceased persons.

All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.