Former High Court Judge Ian Callinan QC, who retired from the bench in 2007, is to conduct a review of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to ensure its decisions reflect Australian community values, and to promote public trust and confidence in the decision making of the AAT. The AAT has, in the last few years, had three former federal tribunals merged into it: the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, the Refugee Review Tribunal and the Migration Review Tribunal. Its decisions, especially in relation to migration and refugee matters, have clogged the High Court’s hearing lists in recent years.
The review follows the recent rulings made by AAT members to overturn several ministerial decisions to cancel the visas of criminals in order to deport them, and should be presented to the Federal Government in about three months.
Mr Callinan was, in his career at the bar and on the bench, a black letter lawyer and should, with respect, be presumed to conduct the review in that manner.