Law Council raises concerns over migration amendment bill
13 December 2018
In its recent submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, the Law Council raised concerns regarding the justification for expanding existing visa cancellation and refusal powers.
The submission, lodged on 30 November, addressed concerns related to widening the already low threshold for the refusal or cancellation of a visa on character grounds through the inclusion of certain ‘designated offences’, irrespective of the sentence imposed on the individual concerned.
The Law Council considers that the justification for the expansion of existing cancellation powers has not been made sufficiently clear, noting that the refusal or cancellation of a visa will almost always have a profound impact on the lives of individuals and their families.
The Law Council further submitted that the measures appear to undermine the judiciary’s discretion with regards to the sentencing of offenders, and that the expansion of these powers will exacerbate demand on the legal assistance sector in an area that that is already chronically under-resourced, despite the proposed measures making no additional provision for such services.