Sep 6, 2017

Peter Dutton cancels visa a third time, undermines the High Court in under an hour

Peter Dutton has used secret information to cancel AJ Graham's visa. The High Court said no dice. But an hour after the judgment, Dutton doubled down and canceled his visa again.

Greg Barns — Barrister and writer

Greg Barns

Barrister and writer

When the High Court delivers a judgment, most parties take time to consider it carefully. Not Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. Within an hour of the court handing down a decision today overturning Dutton’s use of secret information to cancel the visa of Tasmanian based former New Zealander AJ Graham, Dutton cancelled Graham’s visa again. No doubt Graham’s lawyers will head back to court to stop Dutton’s latest blow from landing on their client.

AJ Graham emigrated from New Zealand in 1976.  He has a criminal record in Tasmania, including serving a stretch of jail time for a serious assault a decade ago. He was said to have connections with the Rebels motorcycle gang. In 2015, six years after he was last in jail, Graham was swept off the streets of Hobart and placed in the supermax facility of New South Wales’ Goulburn prison overnight -- away from his family and particularly his partner, for whom he was full-time carer. Last year the Federal Court overturned Dutton’s decision to revoke Graham’s visa and force him to return to New Zealand. But within hours of that win Dutton found a new basis on which to cancel the visa, meaning Graham continued to languish behind bars. That decision was the subject of this High Court challenge.

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26 thoughts on “Peter Dutton cancels visa a third time, undermines the High Court in under an hour

  1. John Newton

    ‘I am not aware of any minister or government in Australia’s history moving so swiftly to react to an adverse decision of the High Court’

    I am not aware of any minister less deserving of the rank and responsibility. How did we get to this?

  2. Michael Zarb

    Is Dutton at risk of being found in contempt?

    1. lykurgus

      Yep – but how that differs from his former life (as a pre-Fitzgerald Queensland cop) is up for debate.

      1. [email protected]

        For sure. The mind boggles on how such an openly depraved Dutton as Minister for Border Protection under public scrutiny, would have behaved as a Qld copper away from public scrutiny.

    2. John Hall

      He is beneath contempt methinks. He is most definitely what I would term a ‘bad’ cop and a despicable politician that should never have been given so much power to abuse. Can we please cancel his visa to Parliament? I can’t believe how quickly our country is lurching to the Loony Right.

  3. catts stan

    Good on ya Dutton…good work,stan catts

    1. Marilyn J Shepherd

      So you think Dutton breaking the law is fine do you, he’s supposed to uphold the law, not break it to appease idiots

  4. Lee Tinson

    If the high court decides the action was unlawful, surely there’s some provision to arrest this narcissistic buffoon. Dutton really needs to be in gaol simply to stop him causing more damage to society.

  5. Dog's Breakfast

    It’s interesting in terms of his current position, as a politician averse to courts interfering in his day job, and his former position as a Qld cop, averse to courts interfering with his right to impound citizens on any basis.

    Given that the High Court will be making judgement about the ssm poll, I hope they are only human and take a very dim view of the government and rope that one in. Yes, I know they are above reproach and able to separate these matters, but humans are humans, and they may be subliminally inclined from this to send a message to government to pull their heads in. Hope so, I bet on the ssm poll being vetoed by the high court.

      1. lykurgus

        The Sex Offenders Squad… so… was he for or against?

    1. Dion Giles

      What Dutton does Turnbull does – Turnbull appointed him to appease the opus dei wing of his party. There must surely be a mechanism for imprisoning perpetrators of contempt of court

  6. leon knight

    I hope the High Court in its current sitting is aware of this latest example of the contempt the Turnbull government and its senior ministers have for the high court and legal process in general, and takes that into account in its decisions for the SSM survey and eligibility of government dual citizens.

  7. klewso

    Like bent cop isn’t he – thinks he’s above the law he’s paid to police?

  8. Desmond Graham

    What was the reason for the revocation in this instance was it the same one the court had considered or was it another avenue open to the Minister to exercise judgement? Until one has those facts one must sit back to watch the unfolding saga.

    1. Lee Tinson

      I don’t think it matters. What the court objected to was the secrecy of the document. Dutton believes that some pernicious law from the howard government (yes, another one) gave him the right to withhold the evidence he used for the revocation from the court.

  9. graybul

    Step by each incremental step . . . the LNP Government moves to erode/bypass our nation’s social and institutional infrastructure. Values, freedoms and historical, traditional guarantees that have protected guided we all, over centuries.

    1. Barbara Haan

      They can’t erode our rights fast enough. This disgraceful bunch of LNP members believe they are born to rule and above the law. Did anyone catch Georgie Porgie Downer defending PDut’s every move on the Drum last night? Like father, like daughter.

      1. Marilyn J Shepherd

        Actually we have no rights, and non-citizens can be jailed for life without charge under Al Kateb thanks to the ALP.

        1. Lee Tinson

          I’ll take it as read that an ALP govt formulated whatever law that was, but if they hadn’t then a coalition govt would have. I bet Dutton just loves that one!

  10. Will

    Hopefully influential people in business-legal circles around the country are beginning to wonder what ‘sovereign risks’ might be attached to Dutton ever becoming Australia’s own Henry VIII. God knows he’s exactly the sort who’d shut down Parliament in the blink of an eye if he ever had the chance.

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