Justice

May 2, 2018

Barns: Dutton calls on News Corp to help him weaken the AAT

A consistent news campaign and a new parliamentary committee: Dutton has pulled out the big guns against the Administrative Appeals Tribunal once more.

Greg Barns — Barrister and writer

Greg Barns

Barrister and writer

Peter Dutton is not a fan of independent judicial scrutiny of his decisions. He notoriously overturned a decision of the High Court last year within hours of a judgment being handed down which found he had exceeded his powers in cancelling the visa of a New Zealand citizen. But it is the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) that Mr Dutton wants to neuter because on a number of occasions in the past few years it has dared to revoke decisions by Mr Dutton’s department to expel non-citizens who have criminal records. Now it seems Mr Dutton is preparing the way for legislation to remove the right of individuals to appeal to the AAT when their visa is revoked by bureaucrats.

Mr Dutton has for months now been using friendly news outlets like Herald Sun, The Daily Telegraph and The Australian as a key weapon in building a case against the AAT. And Mr Dutton has asked the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Migration, chaired by a colleague, Liberal MP Jason Wood, “to inquire into and report on the review processes associated with visa cancellations made on criminal grounds". That committee is about to hold hearings into the issue.

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21 comments

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21 thoughts on “Barns: Dutton calls on News Corp to help him weaken the AAT

  1. Arky

    “and the majority which are expedient and do not want to be labelled by the Turnbull government and News Corp as being “soft on criminals”.”

    And this in a nutshell is why people who try and talk down the relevance of News Corp and commercial media generally are crazy.

    This is exactly the kind of issue where their propaganda campaigns have influence.

  2. AR

    “First they came for the non-citzens and I didn’t say…”.
    Is there any doubt that the Tubergruppenfuhrer would be equally eager to go extra judicial on anyone incurring his ire?
    We have been warned, out of its own mouth, often enough.

  3. leon knight

    Way past time those three publications in particular had their wings clipped severely – there needs to be a law that can be used to prosecute media that attacks our judiciary and organisations that protect the freedoms of us all – such behaviour is so close to treason the difference doesn’t count.
    Dutton’s complicity in using those papers for his nefarious purposes would likely see him assassinated in some more lawless societies.

    1. Paul Guy

      Murdoch and Hanson made sure the ABC’s was crippled. The same should happen to News Ltd. However the LNP awarded Murdoch with a $40 Million “Thank You”. It’s no wonder Murdoch is so pro LNP.

    2. Rais

      There is such a thing as “contempt of court” but widening its scope might be more dangerous than doing nothing. I do look forward hopefully to Mr Dutton losing his seat at the next election. His extremism is getting too dangerous.

    3. kyle Hargraves

      “Way past time those three publications in particular had their wings clipped severely”
      Nice thought but who gives a damn nowadays when there isn’t any such thing as ‘responsibility’ much less balance of an article from the tabloids. Their bread and butter is sensationalism. Include the broadsheets for that matter.

      “there needs to be a law that can be used to prosecute media that attacks our judiciary and organisations that protect the freedoms of us all”
      Actually there is or rather are; quite a few in fact.

      “such behaviour is so close to treason the difference doesn’t count”
      In a Republic : possibly – otherwise : no.

      “Dutton’s complicity in using those papers for his nefarious purposes would likely see him assassinated in some more lawless societies.”
      The Swedes have a history of dispatching Prime Ministers so the possibility is by no means confined to a “lawless society”

      However appealing, prima facie, I would also think twice in respect of widening its scope for Contempt of Court but the point is academic because the current Front Bench is unlikely to provide the Judiciary with additional authorities and any such proposal from the ranks would not get too far.

      As for Dutton loosing his seat : don’t count on it. It might seem odd but his extremism is appealing to many; in a non-trivialway Dutton makes many in his electorate (and others) feel safe (whatever passes for safety these days).

  4. gjb

    How about the option of a non-citizen having to pay the costs of incarceration or the expense being charged to their country of origin.?
    Not acceptable to keep adding to public expense maintaining foreign criminals

    1. [email protected]

      Because most of them are not criminals who just arrived here, they have lived here all their lives or the vast majority of their lives. In the case of Stephan Nystrom he was born prematurely in Sweden, lived there for just the first 27 days of his life, didn’t know he was not a citizen when he grew up here without ever leaving the country and was still brutally deported and left to rot. That is what this is about.

      1. Bobby

        Ah the extreme left. When they can’t win arguments in the court of public opinion they always reach for restrictions on freedom of speech. You’d probably feel much better living in a fascist dictatorship.

      2. Bobby

        I mean how shocking. Deported to the hell hole that is Sweden. Honestly you people are clowns.

        1. Rais

          Deported from the country he had been in all his conscious life to a country he had never seen where he knew nobody and didn’t speak the language. One of the points here is that this is a double punishment for a single crime. A person born in Australia may go to prison for a crime, then come out and return to his or her family. A person born elsewhere who has no knowledge of the country of his or her birth can be arbitrarily deported after serving the court-awarded sentence. The birth country has no responsibility for such a person; he or she was raised here, learned good or bad traits here, and should remain and be rehabilitated here.

          1. Bobby

            Australia lost a moron. What a tragedy. #NotReally

  5. bref

    As Murdoch’s Fox blows the Trump horn in the US, so Murdoch’s News Corp is the propaganda machine for the NLP. Neutering corporate and govt oversight regulatory bodies has been the hallmark of the NLP for decades.
    Punitive anti-union regulations and Dutton’s latest push to ‘tighten’ security through even greater spying on citizens are the other side of the NLP coin.

    1. RL

      Cheers Bref well put; horn blowing an apt description.

  6. kyle Hargraves

    Some interesting arguments Greg. Taking the long view we seem to have the situation were a nation that was more or less founded upon transportation is now seeking to expel criminals! Perhaps we have left it a bit late (by about 200 years).

    Assuming those at risk of expulsion are permanent residents it is probably in their interests to become citizens and thus ‘remove the risk’. Then there is the matter of repeat offenders.

    As one contributor put it “How about the option of a non-citizen having to pay the costs of incarceration” or the expense being charged to their country of origin.?”

    Which could be an option until the non-citizen’s country responded in kind vis a vis Australians that underwent prison sentences in the foreign country. Perhaps such a situation would satisfy everyone.

    “Not acceptable to keep adding to public expense maintaining foreign criminals”
    which is a real objection and which the Minister for Immigration is (inter alia) relying upon to curtail being over-ridden by the AAT.

    As an aside it seems to me that the role of the ATT (becoming the Minister for the duration of the case/hearing) ought to be explained in the article. The content of the 5th paragraph won’t do at all. Further, when has the Herald Sun displayed any maturity or judgement?

    As for the ALP – well it will place its influence at where it deems the centre of gravity on this issue to be. Its all about votes.

  7. Paul Munro

    An important contribution, thanks Greg. The influence of News Ltd is notably through nudging its malleable allies in the LNP, it shapes so much of the agenda through the remainder of mainstream media, especially the ABC. Apart from the colonisation of ABC Board and leadership byNews Ltd ex staffers or Turnbull cries, the prevailing ABC approach to achieving “balance’ in current affairs presentation is to take the lead from the daily News Ltd party line and serve it up to whoever happens along for interview.

    In relation to visa processing, it seems that thus far few people understand the mooted plan to outsource the function to a for profit provider like Serco. Visa processing operates across a relative maelstrom of human, social, security and political interests. Already there is widespread evidence of a grubby relationship between some employers or labour hire providers and special entry visa holders. What a sorry state we are becoming when we seem ready to tolerate the privatisation of a regulatory service of such permeative influence across so many dimensions critical to a fairly governed and balanced society. Please keep applying a blowtorch to these “small government” evangelists and their acolytes in the LNP, not forgetting they have counterparts in the ALP.

  8. klewso

    A complicit media in a propaganda war : yet they only seem to see to worry about the likes of how GetUp! and Cambridge Analytica carry on their “propagandising” business?

  9. Bobby

    The operative word being “Visa”.
    These are non-citizens undermining the will of the nation’s citizens as determined in free and fair elections.
    The likes of Barns have given up on trying to actually sell their open borders, global citizenry delusion to the actual voters in Australia and instead try to undermine what the electorate actually wants. Says it all really

    1. kyle Hargraves

      Regarding your posts of 3 May 08:26 and 08:27

      (1) An appeal to the “court of public opinion” is hardy a useful criterion for evaluating complex issues. Regarding such matters only competent and informed analysis prevails, which, almost by definition, excludes the public.

      (2) I wonder if you are inclined to extend this assessment “you people are clowns” to your self. Do you have the least clue as to the particulars of the case? I’d say not.

      Nystrom has a legion of convictions to his name (from armed robbery to serious sexual offenses) mostly (but not all) committed as a juvenile. Nystrom succeeded against the Order for deportation in the Federal Court but lost on appeal by the Government of the Day to the High Court circa 2006.

      The High Court found that, under the legislation, the Minister did have the authority to deport Nystrom, given his criminal record, but “advised” against doing so. Sweden pointed out the “error” of the Australian Government’s decision on humanitarian considerations. In fact it was mentioned at the time : why should Sweden have to tolerate a circumstance that Australian society has effected yet is disinclined accept.

      In July 2011 the UN Human Rights Committee conceded with the Federal Court. In fact Nystrom v Commonwealth of Australia has established, unwittingly, an argument, by the UN (2011), for non-citizens to enter a country.

      As to your remarks concerning this post (08:21) the description “non-citizen” is somewhat academic. Alternatively, lets return to 1788 and make (ironically) Australia criminal-free. We could make a start on wanton financial advisers and their corporate employers (i.e. the directors and CEOs). Failing that : set your own criteria for a “fit and proper person” (that ‘the electorate actually wants’).

      I wonder if Crikey were to become adjective-free (i.e. have a filter to remove adjectives in posts) the standard of discussion might improve.

      1. AR

        Hell, I’d vote for that.
        Make a point grammatically rather than with verbal pyrotechnics .
        Not at all looking at Crikey’s typo King, and Duke of Sloppy
        Faktscek.

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