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Judge accused of migration bias

Judge accused of migration bias

Federal Circuit Court Judge Alexander Street has been accused of apprehended bias following his rejection of hundreds of migrant appeals.

Recently appointed Judge Street rejected 252 migration appeals out of the 254 total rulings he delivered between January and June 2015, with many cases dismissed at the first court date when evidence gathering and hearing scheduling is usually discussed.

The Federal Court Reports editor Victor Kline has sworn an affidavit, which alleges Judge Street found in favour of the Immigration Minister in virtually every case he heard.

Judge Street, hailing from the well-known Street legal family, has been strongly criticised for his actions, and two recent rulings have been the subject of several appeals in the Full Federal Court, as reported by the ABC.

Applicants in two recent cases presented the statistics to support their allegation that anyone seeking a judicial review of migration decisions in Judge Street’s court between January and June this year had almost no chance of succeeding.

Monash University law professor Matthew Groves said: “The [statistics] are quite unusual because they show that for migration hearings, essentially you've got no prospect of succeeding in front of this particular judge.”

Judge Street was appointed to the Federal Circuit Court in December 2014 following media attention around his financial situation of extensive debt and the possibility of bankruptcy.

Since being appointed, Judge Street has been found to have denied litigants procedural fairness in two successful appeals of his decisions in the Full Federal Court.

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