Australia Visa cancellation can be challenged on jurisdictional error, says High Court

The High Court in Australia has ruled that Australia Visa cancellation can be challenged on grounds of jurisdictional error. The court has said that Australia Visa cancellation decisions made by the Minister by relying upon confidential information of law enforcement authorities are open to judicial review. This information if is shielded from the courts for review irrespective of the consequentiality for the final decision for visa cancellation is open to legal dispute on the ground of jurisdictional error.

The High Court gave its verdict in proceedings that involved two different lawsuits questioning visa cancellation decision by the Immigration Minister. In these two cases, the visas were canceled by the Minister based on the data that the visa holders were members of Rebels Outlaw Motorcycle Group. This organization is alleged to be involved in criminal behavior.

The visa holders questioned the Australia Visa cancellations on the grounds that the section 503(2) is not a valid provision of the Migration Act, as quoted by the Migration Alliance Com AU. It was claimed that this section is not valid as it curbs the judicial authority to review cancellation of visas. It stopped the courts from determining whether decisions were affected by the jurisdictional error.

The visa holders also claimed that the section 503(2) wrongly limits the rights of visa cancellation affected persons to seek judicial redress. This was again on grounds of jurisdictional error.

The High Court said ruled that the section was not valid to the extent it rigidly facilitates the Minister to withhold information from the courts received from law enforcement authorities. This was applicable regardless of the vital nature of the information that is being reviewed by the court.

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Anshul Singhal

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