Case notes

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Minister for Immigration and Border Protection v SZSSJ; Minister for Immigration and Border Protection v SZTZI [2016] HCA 29

15/08/2016

In this case, the High Court considered whether procedural fairness was owed and provided in the International Treaty Obligations Assessment (ITOA) process to asylum seekers affected by the release of personal information on the internet by the Department of Immigration (known as ‘the Data Breach’). The High Court confirmed that procedural fairness is owed in the ITOA process. In this case, procedural fairness was found to be provided to the respondents in spite of the Data Breach, as they were still provided with a full opportunity for their case to be heard.

Plaintiffs S99 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection & Ors (High Court of Australia, 2016)

01/08/2016

This case note provides an overview of the matter heard by Bell J, sitting as a sole judge of the High Court of Australia on 31 May 2016. The case concerns the detention of men in the Regional Processing Centre (RPC) on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. The case has not yet reached judgment.

Plaintiff S99/2016 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2016] FCA 483

25/07/2016

This case note provides an overview of the key facts and findings of the Federal Court of Australia in Plaintiff S99/2016 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2016] FCA 483 (Plaintiff S99). The case was originally filed in the High Court before it was referred to Bromberg J in the Federal Court for an urgent hearing and determination.

Plaintiff M68/2015 v. Minister for Immigration and Border Protection & Ors [2016] HCA 1

13/07/2016

This case note provides an overview of the key facts and findings of the High Court in Plaintiff M68/2015 v. Minister for Immigration and Border Protection & Ors [2016] HCA 1, and sets out some of the key developments following the case.

CPCF v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2015] HCA 1

28/01/2015

By a narrow 4:3 majority, the High Court of Australia has held that Australia’s detention of 157 Tamil asylum seekers at sea was not contrary to Australian law. The decision turned on the scope of powers conferred on Australian officials under the Maritime Powers Act, and the legality of their actions under that statute. The judges did not engage in any detailed analysis of international refugee law. Instead, they focused squarely on the construction of an Australian statute, and the Australian government’s powers pursuant to it.

JARK v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection

11/07/2014

On 8 July 2014, the High Court (Crennan J) heard submissions following the grant of an interim injunction the previous day restraining the defendants from removing the plaintiffs into the custody of the Sri Lankan government. The plaintiffs are a group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers being held by the Australian navy on the high seas. The hearing concerned whether the interim relief ordered should be extended. However, the need to extend the injunction was removed after the defendants provided an undertaking not to deliver the asylum seekers to the Sri Lankan government without 72 hours’ written notice.

FTZK v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2014] HCA 26

27/06/2014

In FTZK v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2014] HCA 26, the High Court allowed an appeal against a decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to refuse a Chinese national a protection visa. The AAT had applied the exclusion clause in the Refugee Convention (in this case, article 1F(b)) because it was satisfied that there were ‘serious reasons for considering’ that the man had committed a ‘serious non-political crime’ while in China. The High Court held unanimously that the AAT had relied on evidence which was not logically probative of whether the alleged crimes had been committed, and therefore had fallen into jurisdictional error by misconstruing the test it was bound to apply. The court also observed that the question of whether there are ‘serious reasons’ in this context cannot be equated to either the civil or criminal standard of proof, as understood by domestic courts.

Last updated: 27 June 2014

Plaintiff S156/2013: the constitutionality of offshore processing on Manus Island

26/06/2014

On 18 June 2014 Australia’s High Court unanimously dismissed a challenge to the legality of the legislation underpinning offshore processing. The High Court upheld the constitutionality of the legislation, the validity of the Minister’s designation of Papua New Guinea (PNG) as a regional processing country, and the Minister’s direction as to where asylum seekers were to be transferred (Nauru and PNG).