We are ready to take on a challenge.
The question on how to treat foreigners has long occupied a central place in Australia’s national conscience. In 1958, the Minister for Immigration, the Hon. A.R. Downer introduced the migration laws we use today, had been a prisoner of war in Changi. His experiences is reflected in a more humane approach to the treatment of migrants, where he describes the Migration Act as the “finest immigration charter that the world has yet seen”.
Over the next 60 years, each Government since has sought to impose its own peculiar migration policy resulting in a unique mixture of drafting styles and policy objectives producing the current immigration landscape we see today. As long as Australia remains a popular destination for migrants from around the world, the Department, tribunals and courts will be called upon to interpret the various provisions of immigration law.
The Department forecasts that yearly immigration is set to increase to 525,300 by June 2019. Unsurprisingly, a large number of those whose migration applications are rejected seek to challenge the decision made against them. In the year ending June 2015, a total of 18,534 appeals making up of visa refusals and cancellations where made to the tribunals. By the end of December 2018, refusals and cancellations have climbed tremendously by 62.5%. In turn, these figures have translated to a significant amount judicial review cases before the courts. Thus over 90% of all applications for constitutional writs made to the High Court in the past 5 years have been migration matters. The volume of cases the Federal Circuit Court and Federal Court hears, have dramatically increased by approximately 36% each year.
The result is that the Migration Act is one of the most litigated piece of legislation in the country. This is why migration representation matters.