May 22, 2017

Is Dutton’s ‘fake refugees’ argument designed to undermine the Administrative Appeals Tribunal?

Peter Dutton's criticism of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal shows the government is thinking about bypassing the tribunal for refugee reviews.

Josh Taylor — Journalist

Josh Taylor


Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The Coalition government has taken the extraordinary step of questioning the judgement of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) -- even though most of the appointments were made by the Coalition. Why is the AAT suddenly seen as so biased by the government that determined its makeup?

In News Corp papers and in multiple radio interviews this month, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton took aim at the AAT for what he perceived as bad calls in overturning decisions he -- or rather, his office -- had made on refugees and migrant visas. He told FIVEaa radio in Adelaide that it was a very expensive and time-consuming process for the government because the backlog of cases, coupled with the AAT's long review process, resulted in decisions that could then be overturned by the minister, and then appealed to the Federal Court and potentially even the High Court.

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11 thoughts on “Is Dutton’s ‘fake refugees’ argument designed to undermine the Administrative Appeals Tribunal?

  1. klewso

    “Why is the AAT suddenly seen as so biased by the government that determined its makeup?”? Is that a trick one?
    Otherwise A: “It’s in their DNA”?
    This is the government that, under a former incarnation under Howard, selected Bob Halverson to be Speaker of the Parliament – then cut him down for being “too impartial”?

  2. graybul

    “Dutton announced . . . . . for what he said was 7500 ‘fake refugees’ to lodge claims for refugee status in Australia.”

    Clearly this deeply flawed Minister does not subscribe to the ‘principle of innocence, until proven guilty’; anymore than he honours ‘honesty in expression’; or accepts legality is integral to being personally responsible when charged with a ‘duty of care.’

  3. leon knight

    If Dutton recommends something, you can almost guarantee it is rotten to the core – that Turnbull tolerates such a disgrace in his cabinet is a testament to the paucity of his leadership…

  4. Marilyn J Shepherd

    Mostly because even some of the racists they hired know the law and want to abide by it.

  5. Graeski

    Hey if we’re prepared to waste taxpayer money on this moron’s salary and lifelong pension then we’re fine with wasting money on anything.

    1. bushby jane

      Apparently his new govt premises as well.

  6. zut alors

    Aha, the newfound ‘f” word ie: fake refugees.

    Dutton has truncated the standard three word LNP slogans down to two words…and is revealed as a greater dunderhead than his colleagues. No small achievement.

    Meantime, Turnbull condones this fool.

  7. klewso

    Credit where credit’s due chaps?
    This latest dogwhistling is a distraction from the revelations wafting from the Senate estimates* hearing : in light of what Dutton was telling us a couple of weeks ago about “what really happened on Manus” at Easter?

    (* “Senate estimates”? Is that ‘Senate estimates of the truth’?

  8. John Hall

    Dutton wants to a dictator of his fake department – he’s got his little dark blue uniformed minions under his thumb showing the world what a wonderful humane democracy we are.

  9. Decorum

    I’m not sure about a couple of these conclusions. First, personally I don’t think the government has any interest in taking this “off the agenda”. On the contrary, I think Dutton is dancing on his string now precisely to get attention and get the media back on to asylum seekers. With Manus and Nauru not going so well for the government they need some new demons and what better than “fake refugees” who came in on Labor’s watch?! Particularly as Labor has the spine of a blancmange and will quiver and shake and “consider its position” but do nothing of substance.

    Second, as I understand it, a lot of the legacy caseload of boat arrivals are so-called “fast track” candidates and, as such, have extremely limited appeal rights to anyone. So I don’t think any wrapping up of the AAT can be driven primarily by concerns to hammer the legacy people – it’s aimed at other pesky groups who insist on exercising their damn legal rights.

    This new harassment of the legacy people is just the latest in a breathtaking series of abuses and cruelties and almost makes me wish there was actually something to Christianity so self-proclaimed believers like Dutton and Morrison would burn in hell for eternity!

  10. AR

    Blot is becoming so unhinged lately with his Turnbull Derangement Syndrome that he has taken to repeating & reinforcing with his usual careful attention to detail anything that Dunnuttin says.
    I’m glad that they are so fond of each other and hope that they marry as soon as possible.
    They certainly complement each perfectly – one an ignorant thug & bully, the other his arrogant toady & wordy enabler.

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