Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v Li

Sara Dehm and Cait Storr, ‘Unreasonable Refusal to Adjourn: Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v Li‘ (17 July 2013).

In Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v Li, the High Court dismissed the Minister’s appeal against a decision of the Federal Court of Australia, and held that the Migration Review Tribunal had erred in reviewing Li’s migration application. Li applied for a skilled student residential visa, which the Minister’s delegate refused to grant. On Li’s application, the Migration Review Tribunal reviewed and then upheld the delegate’s decision. In doing so, however, it refused Li’s request to adjourn the proceedings to allow the relevant skills assessment body to complete its own review into its report on Li, which was marred by ‘fundamental errors’. Li successfully appealed to the Federal Magistrates Court (upheld by the Federal Court), which set aside the Tribunal’s decision on the grounds of unreasonableness, specifically ‘Wednesbury unreasonableness’: where discretionary power is conferred on a body by statute, it is presumed that the legislature intended the discretion to be exercised reasonably, and any use that is so unreasonable that no reasonable decision-maker could have done so is invalid.

High Court Judgment [2013] HCA 18 8 May 2013
High Court Documents Minister v Li
Result Appeal dismissed
Full Court Hearing [2013] HCATrans 6 7 February 2013
Special Leave Hearing [2012] HCATrans 295 16 November 2012
Appeal from FCAFC [2012] FCAFC 74 24 May 2012
FMCA Judgment [2011] FMCA 625 31 August 2011