On Wednesday, the Senate passed the necessary orders.
But Australia's human rights watchdog believes the Government's offshore processing regime could be vulnerable to legal challenges on a number of fronts.
And the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission says the Government should not send pregnant women to Nauru.
Speaker: Professor Gillian Triggs, president of the Human Rights Comission
GILLIAN TRIGGS: Our most profound concern at the moment - and without having seen how this is actually going to work in practice - but our concern is that men, women, and children will be moved across without a proper assessment of their individual needs and circumstances.
Our concern is that people who have particular health needs - and pregnant women clearly do - we are very concerned that Nauru is a place that nobody would want to be sending a pregnant woman.
ALEXANDRA KIRK: So the Government, in your view, should what, make an exception to pregnant women?
GILLIAN TRIGGS: I think it would be a mistake to have blanket exceptions, and we do understand the Minister's concern that blanket exceptions could send the wrong message. We don't know whether that's a correct assertion, but at least we understand that the Minister's concerned about that in good faith.
Our concern is not to have blanket exceptions, but to be absolutely certain that the assessment of each person - a man, a woman, or a child - each will be assessed according to their need.
So that if, for example, they were disabled in some way, if they had been subject to torture or to trauma in the country from which they had fled, if the child needed particular educational needs, or a woman who was pregnant or in particular stage of the pregnancy needed particular assistance, we would like each one to be assessed and for a judgment to be made in relation to that person.
ALEXANDRA KIRK: Have you said that to the Government?
GILLIAN TRIGGS: Um, we have made these comments through our usual official channels, through the relevant Government departments.
ALEXANDRA KIRK: And what's your understanding of what the Government plans to do about assessing people's vulnerability?
GILLIAN TRIGGS: Well, we've not yet been advised in precise terms, and that is really partly why we want to be part of this discussion at the moment.
We understand that an assessment tool is being developed for use on Christmas Island, and we would very much like to know what the processes for assessment are in order to be able to determine whether the international legal obligation for individual assessment will actually be carried out.
ALEXANDRA KIRK: As an expert also in international law, do you think that the Government is vulnerable to any legal challenges? Particularly, say, on Australia's obligations on children's rights?
GILLIAN TRIGGS: I think there's no doubt at all that Australia will be extremely vulnerable to claims.
Australia is responsible for all acts over which it has effective control, offshore or extra-territorially, in this case Nauru, and where the appropriate standards are not met, then there will be obligations before the relevant monitoring committees.
So whether it's the Rights of the Child, or the Refugee Convention, or the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, or even on the convention in relation to disabilities, all of these conventions have monitoring committees that will be able to receive complaints.
So I think it's highly probable that we will start to see some complaints emerging in the international arena.
ALEXANDRA KIRK: But there are no legal penalties for breaching international covenants. Do you think that the Government is vulnerable, say, in the High Court?
GILLIAN TRIGGS: Well, that is a matter of great concern to us, because the short answer to your question is that the High Court would not be able to consider, at least on the basis of the Migration Act itself, whether the acts are consistent with international law.
However, it would be possible to come at the matter from another direction, perhaps through the assessment through the refugee review process, through merits review, and possibly then on up if there's an error in law, into the court system and to the High Court. But it's much more difficult to achieve.
ALEXANDRA KIRK: Do you plan to go to Nauru to monitor first-hand the human rights of asylum seekers sent there?
GILLIAN TRIGGS: Well I would very much like to visit Nauru at an appropriate time. I certainly am planning to go to Christmas Island shortly, but of course it's one thing to visit a country of which I'm a national and to go to a country where I'm not. I would have to have permission to go, so I'm not sure whether that will be achievable or not.
But I certainly hope so, and I believe in the spirit of meeting our international obligations, I will be permitted to visit.