AGR23 v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs [2023] FedCFamC2G 927 (17 October 2023)

The individual in question is an Iranian citizen who arrived in Australia in April 2013. They currently reside in Melbourne in charitable shared housing with an uncertain migration status. In 2015, their application for a protection visa was rejected, and their last bridging visa expired in 2015.

On September 1, 2023, the applicant filed an Interlocutory Application to expedite their case, which was accepted by the court on September 6, 2023. This application sought to set an early final hearing date, preferably not before November 20, 2023. The Minister, representing the government, opposed this request. The applicant was represented by Victorian Legal Aid, while the Minister was represented by Sparke Helmore.

The court held an Interlocutory Hearing on October 9, 2023, and the judgment was reserved.

The primary issue revolves around the applicant’s arrival in Australia, their previous visa applications, and their current status. The applicant applied for a protection visa in 2013 but later declined to attend an interview related to this application. In 2015, their application was officially rejected, and they sought a review of this decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in 2022. However, the Tribunal ruled that they applied out of time. In early 2023, the applicant made two unsuccessful attempts to obtain a Bridging Visa.

The applicant argued that the notification they received about their protection visa rejection was defective, affecting the timeline for seeking a review. They claimed that the Tribunal’s decision was affected by jurisdictional error.

The Minister opposed the expedited hearing on the grounds that it might not alleviate the applicant’s hardship and that the case should be heard after the outcome of another relevant appeal.

In the end, the court decided not to expedite the final hearing, as the applicant’s hardship stemmed from their unregulated migration status since 2015, and expediting the hearing would not necessarily address this. The court also considered the impact on its caseload and the potential inefficiencies of expediting this case.

Consequently, the Interlocutory Application was dismissed, and the final hearing will follow the usual court process. The Minister sought costs up to and including the Interlocutory Hearing, while the applicant requested that costs be reserved if the Interlocutory Application was dismissed.

Written by Ross Ahmadzai

20 Oct, 2023

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