Under the Migration Act 1958, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, or another designated Minister responsible for administering the Act, has the authority to replace a review tribunal’s decision with a more favourable one if the Minister believes it serves the public interest. These authorities are commonly known as “the public interest powers.”
Under s351, s417 and s501J of the Act, the Minister can substitute for a decision of a review tribunal a decision that is more favourable to a person. These public interest powers are discretionary, to intervene is personal and non-compellable. What is and what is not in the public interest is for the Minister to determine.
This means that while the Act grants these powers to the Minister, the Minister is not obligated to utilize or contemplate their use.
These powers are only available where there is an appropriate existing decision in the case from:
- the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (Migration and Refugee Division)
- the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (General Division) for protection visa refusals or cancellations on character grounds
- the former Migration Review Tribunal
- the former Refugee Review Tribunal
- the former Immigration Review Tribunal or Migration Internal Review Office.
We at Salomonn Migration & Advocacy expertise in formulating lawfully effective strategies for the preparation and advocate for our clients to the Minister for intervention.