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Key decisions

  • Plaintiff M47/2018 v Minister for Home Affairs [2019] HCA 17 
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Kobelt [2019] HCA 18
  • Masson v Parsons [2019] HCA 21
  • Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts Pty Ltd v Commonwealth [2019] HCA 20

Administrative law

Migration – detention pending removal – special case – drawing of inferences

Plaintiff M47/2018 v Minister for Home Affairs [2019] HCA 17 (orders 13 February 2019; reasons 12 June 2019) concerned whether ss 189 and 196 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) gave authority to the Commonwealth to detain the plaintiff for what he alleged would be an indefinite period. 

Section 189 of the Act requires an officer who knows or suspects a person to be an unlawful non-citizen to detain that person. Section 196 requires unlawful non-citizens to be detained under s 189 until they are removed or deported from Australia. Section 198 requires that unlawful non-citizens be removed ‘as soon as reasonably practicable’ if the non-citizen is a detainee and an application for a visa has been refused and finally determined. The plaintiff was an unlawful non-citizen who had been in detention since 2010. He had used several names with overseas officials and had also made visa applications in Australia using different names, nationalities and other personal details. His accounts of his background were inconsistent. He admitted that some applications contained false details. He also did not cooperate with Australian officials who were trying to establish his identity and nationality. 

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