Twenty years after the introduction of mandatory immigration detention in Australia, the adverse effects of asylum seeker detention are well known and robust critiques abound. Yet governments persist in maintaining mandatory detention as the major plank of border control and deterrence endeavours. To date little has been done to address justice questions beyond reparation for harm done to detainees. The paper draws on research that identifies human rights abuses that have harmed not only asylum seekers, but also those tasked with implementing policies including health professionals and neighbouring countries. The paper poses questions of how future generations will judge these two decades and how historical justice might now be enacted, particularly to restore Australiaʼs reputation as a rights-respecting nation.