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.