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.