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Former High Court judge to undertake statutory review of AAT

Attorney-General Christian Porter has confirmed a former justice of the High Court of Australia will undertake a statutory review of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. 

user iconEmma Musgrave 31 July 2018 The Bar
Review, magnifying glass, AAT
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Former Justice of the High Court of Australia, Ian Callinan AC QC, will undertake the review as he was found to be “ideally placed” to perform the task. As well as being a former Justice of the High Court, Mr Callinan also has experience as a barrister and has previously worked on reviews into Sydney’s lockout laws and Victoria’s Parole System, the A-G noted.

“The Administrative Appeals Tribunal was amalgamated with the former Social Security Appeals Tribunal, the Migration Review Tribunal and the Refugee Review Tribunal in July 2015, following the commencement of the Tribunals Amalgamation Act,” the Mr Porter said in his announcement.


“The amalgamation of the Commonwealth tribunals was a significant reform to Australia's administrative law framework.

“This review, required under the legislation that provided for the amalgamation, is important to evaluate the success of the amalgamation now that three years has passed since it implementation.”

Mr Porter explained that the review seeks to identify whether the operations of the tribunal can be “further improved to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Commonwealth merits review jurisdiction and support high-quality and consistent government decision making”.

“It also a timely opportunity to ensure that the tribunal is meeting its statutory objectives, in particular that it is promoting public trust and confidence through its decisions and that decisions reflect community expectations,” he added.

Mr Callinan will provide a report addressing the review’s terms of reference by 31 October 2018.

“I look forward to receiving the report and the government will carefully consider any recommendations that are made,” Mr Porter concluded. 

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