Immigration Minister Peter Dutton appears to treat the idea of judicial independence as an inconvenience. He routinely overturns decisions of courts, including most recently the High Court, when they review unfavourably decisions made by him or his Department of Immigration and Border Protection. So while Palestinian-born Krystal Trikilis is no doubt celebrating the fact that the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has overturned a decision by an official of the Immigration Department not to grant a visa to her 30-year-old Palestinian husband and father of their 2-year-old daughter, sadly this is not the end of the matter. This is despite the fact that the refusal to issue a partner's visa in this case was done primarily on the basis of what is essentially a kangaroo court -- the Israeli military court system.

The decision in Trikilis’ case by Deputy President James Constance was handed down on September 6. Trikilis’ husband, known in the decision as Mr Khalil, was refused a partner’s visa because the Immigration Department was of the view he did not pass the character test in the Migration Act. That test allows the department or the minister to refuse a visa if a person has acquired a substantial criminal record in any country.