We have appeared in the MRT in Sydney and Canberra, the AAT in Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane, and the RRT in Sydney and Canberra. As a former member of the New Zealand Refugee Status Appeals Authority, as well as the Social Security Appeals Tribunal in Australia, George Lombard has a wealth of experience and exposure to Tribunals’ operations and is our principal advocate. In appropriate cases we brief out to barristers, particularly in the AAT. A brief set of links to some of our more interesting or important cases is as follows:
Almost all the appeal cases we see involve an application lodged either personally or through another agent, and only rarely do people provide all the documentation relevant to that appeal. We therefore usually initiate a request for access to the file at the time of lodging an appeal. In the case of the MRT there are established procedures for access to the file through the MRT. In the case of the AAT it is the responsibility of the Department to provide a set of documents, called the “T Documents”, which set out all relevant file papers. In each other kind of appeal it is normally necessary to obtain the file through a Freedom of Information request. We can normally only identify the full extent of the problems in a particular case when we receive the file, and if you need to lodge an appeal you may need to do so before you can obtain access to the file.
We regularly work with people who have exhausted formal application and review processes to obtain the intervention of the Minister for Immigration. The Minister will intervene if there are sufficient humanitarian grounds for doing so. Presently much of the internal procedure for making interventions is shrouded in Departmental secrecy, however to the extent possible we attempt to interpret developments to provide applicants with superior outcomes.