Tag Archives: character

Representations in character cancellations are matters which must be considered

The proposition that representations in relation to a s 501 cancellation attempt are not ‘mandatory relevant considerations’ is highly doubtful if not at least reductionist. See the discussion in Viane v Minister [2018] FCAFC 116 per Rangiah J [23]-[30] and Colvin J at [67]-[77].  What matters is (or perhaps a better characterisation than ‘mandatory relevant consideration’ is) whether the relevant aspect which was not considered could amount to a ‘representation’, in which case it must be considered.

See also Hay v Minister [2018] FCAFC 149 per Colvin J.

As to what is required to show that there has been a consideration, see Minister for Immigration and Border Protection v Maioha [2018] FCAFC 216 at [41]:

What is required is the reality of consideration by the decision-maker.  On judicial review the Court must therefore assess, in a qualitative way, whether the decision-maker has as a matter of substance had regard to the representations put: compare Fraser v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2014] FCA 1333 at [22] per Perram J. Additional adjectives do not assist that analysis and indeed tend to distract from it by being “apt to encourage a slide into impermissible merit review”: Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v SZJSS [2010] HCA 48; 243 CLR 164 at [30] citing Swift v SAS Trustee Corporation [2010] NSWCA 182; 6 ASTLR 339 at [45]. Because the Court must make its own qualitative assessment, the fact that a decision-maker says they have had regard to a representation does not by itself establish that they have, as a matter of substance, had that regard. Neither does the Court ignore such a statement.

Consideration by Tribunal of indefinite detention

It is not enough for a Tribunal to conclude, in a s 501 character review, that the applicant has a prospect of release from indefinite detention through the exercise of Ministerial discretion. The legal consequences of a character refusal will often be indefinite detention (for example, if the person engages Australia’s protection obligations), and that, and only that, is certain. It therefore must be considered by the Tribunal. Anything about what might happen (other than indefinite detention) to the applicant is speculative. See eg NBMZ v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2014] FCAFC 38; 220 FCR 1; BCR16 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2017] FCAFC 96; DEY16 [2016] FCA 1261.