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Law Council of Australia

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Administrative Review Tribunal: Appearance before the Senate Committees on Legal and Constitutional Affairs

6 May 2024


On 3 May 2024, representatives from the Law Council appeared at a public hearing of the Senate Standing Committees on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in relation to the Administrative Review Tribunal Bill 2023 and related bills. The reforms seek to establish a federal administrative review body to replace the current Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

In providing evidence on the establishment of the new Administrative Review Tribunal, the Law Council expanded upon its written submission by highlighting the positive aspects of the reform measures, including a focus on transparent and merit-based appointments for members, the strengthened role of the President and greater flexibility to respond to changing demands upon the Tribunal, the reinstatement of the Administrative Review Council, and the abolition of the Immigration Assessment Authority. However, the Law Council also took the opportunity to point out areas for improvement, especially in relation to a fairer and more efficient process for reviews of migration and protection decisions, the ability for costs to be awarded in exceptional circumstances, and greater consistency in relation to assistance with legal assistance and fees.

Evidence from Peter Woulfe (Chair, Federal Administrative Law Reform Working Group), Joanne Kinslor, (Member, Federal Administrative Law Reform Working Group), Leonie Campbell, (General Manager, Policy) and Nathan MacDonald, (Deputy General Manager, Policy) was well-received from the Senate Committee, and the Law Council will continue to monitor progress in the lead up to a new federal administrative review body.

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