Victorian Bar Media Release - Recent attacks on the integrity of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)


The Victorian Bar is concerned about recent, factually inaccurate media reports about the AAT overturning decisions to cancel or refuse visas on character grounds.

“Recent media reports suggesting that the AAT sets aside more visa cancellation decisions than it affirms are wrong”, said Dr Matt Collins QC, President of the Victorian Bar. “Scrutiny of the work of Australia’s courts and tribunals is vital in a healthy democracy, but it is undermined when criticism is ill-founded.”

The AAT is an independent body that reviews decisions made by Federal Government officials. Reviews are an essential part of ensuring access to justice for the Australian community and holding government officials accountable for their decisions.

“The ability to seek a review of decisions to cancel visas is important in a country governed by the rule of law. Cancellation of permanent residency visas, in particular, is a very serious matter that can result in families being permanently separated”, Dr Collins said.


Media Enquiries: 

Michelle Hindson on +61 414 207 049 or by email to

Katherine Lorenz on +61 3 9225 7990 or by email to

News Category: 
Media Release