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High Court of Australia delivered a unanimous verdict in the case of LPDT v Minister

On April 10, 2024, the High Court of Australia rendered a significant judgment in the case of LPDT v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs [2024] HCA 12, addressing pivotal issues of jurisdictional error and the principle of materiality within administrative law. The appeal, unanimously allowed by the court, revolved around LPDT, a Vietnamese national whose visa cancellation was under scrutiny.

LPDT arrived in Australia in 1997 and was convicted of various offenses between 2011 and 2017, leading to the mandatory cancellation of his visa in 2019 under section 501(3A) of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth). Following an unsuccessful revocation attempt and a subsequent appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), the matter was escalated to the High Court. The Tribunal's compliance with Direction 90, a ministerial directive, was a focal point of contention, particularly its evaluative assessment of mandatory considerations in deciding whether there was "another reason" for visa revocation.

The High Court's decision underscores the tribunal's error in interpreting and applying Direction 90, especially regarding the seriousness of LPDT's criminal offenses and the associated risk of reoffending. The court clarified the threshold of materiality, noting that jurisdictional error involves a breach of a statutory decision-making condition that could realistically affect the decision's outcome. The error was deemed material and jurisdictional since there was a realistic possibility that the decision could have been different without the tribunal's misconceptions.

This judgment not only revisits the standards for assessing materiality and jurisdictional error but also emphasises the legal expectations on decision-makers to adhere strictly to statutory and directive requirements. For legal professionals and entities dealing with immigration law, this case highlights the criticality of precision in the legal evaluation process and reinforces the judiciary's commitment to upholding procedural fairness and statutory compliance.

#HighCourtDecision #LegalPrecedent #JurisdictionalError #Materiality #ImmigrationLaw #AdministrativeLaw #JudicialReview

Source: LPDT-v-Minister---Judgement-10-April-2024.pdf and HCA-LPDT-v-Minister--judgement-summary-10-April-2024.pdf

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