Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Daft law overturns Haneef visa cancellation

The judgement overturning the Haneef visa cancellation by Justice Spender is extraordinary. He claims not that Kevin Andrews was wrong in cancelling the visa -there were plenty of grounds to do that on the basis of UK police reports - but that Andrews has applied the wrong test. After setting out the highly technical grounds for overturning the Attorney-General’s judgement – it was based on ‘innocent association’ - Spender goes on to support the case for excluding Haneef from Australia because there were good grounds for believing the judgement was ‘non-innocent’:

‘Nonetheless I am of the opinion that, had the Minister applied the right test, it would have been competent for the Minister to cancel Dr Haneef’s visa.This is because, in addition to the matters which the Solicitor-General identified as supporting the Minister’s view of the "association" of Dr Haneef with the Ahmed brothers, there was before the Minister:

(a) advice from the Metropolitan Police Services Counter Terrorism Command that Dr Haneef was a person of interest to their investigation through his association with two of the United Kingdom suspects believed to have been involved in the London incident and the Glasgow bombings; and

(b) On 14 July 2007, Dr Haneef was formally charged with intentionally providing resources to a terrorist organization consisting of persons including Sabeel Ahmed and Kafeel Ahmed, and being reckless as to whether the organization was a terrorist organization, contrary to s 102.7 of the Criminal Code.

These matters would have permitted the Minister to conclude that the association between Dr Haneef and the Ahmed brothers went beyond a purely familial, social, "innocent" relationship. On that material, it would have been open to the Minister, applying the proper construction of s 501(6)(b), to cancel Dr Haneef’s visa’.

The claims by Tigtog over at LP that the Attorney General has ‘egg on his face’ sound like nonsense to me. Peter Faris at Crikey.com describes the judgment not the Attorney-General as the ass in this case:

‘This decision demonstrates true legal-hairsplitting. The Judge concedes that the decision was for a proper purpose, that the existing law was applied in making the decision and that there was evidence to support a decision to revoke Haneef's visa. This is also a case involving serious acts of international terrorism. But none of that is enough to save the Government. Spender J overturns the existing law and then rules that as the wrong test was applied, the visa was invalidly revoked.

It is rubbish like this that continues to give the law a bad name’.

I agree. Spender has restored the visa to someone he regards as potentially excludable on the grounds of UK police advice and because he supplied assistance to a terrorist organisation. And the moronic left are celebrating an alledged body-blow to the Attorney General. They would applaud any outcome no matter how harmful for Australia provided the Government was embarrassed. It is totally irresponsible behaviour.

The AG is appealing this foolish decision and hopefully will succeed.

15 comments:

Shlomo said...

How does all that crow taste, Harry? Now that you have been proved WRONG by an EXPERT IN THE LAW, please don't spin crap about it being a crazy judgment. You ain't qualified.

Please just admit you were WRONG and let us all move on from this tiresome subject.

whyisitso said...

Apparently the judge also railed against those describing this case as "the Howard government versus the judiciary". But he's proven that this is indeed the case. He's pulled the most silly legal technicality to defeat the clear intention of the legislation and impose his personal opinions and values against the elected representative of the people. A clear case of activism gone mad.

Appu said...

We don't know what will happen at appeal so anyone presupposing this judgement is being hasty.
Would you like to take this opportunity Harry to outline what the judgement should say?
Maybe Ruddock as first law officer of the commonwealth should arrange for a decision more palatable to those on the extreme right?
If however, in your opinion, Australia has a free and unfettered judiciary, you have to accept - without any weasel words the judgement. Simply banging on about it being hair splitting or just calling it rubbish is not a valid argument.

Anonymous said...

HC, The Australian supports your argument here:
http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/hedleythomas/index.php/theaustralian/comments/the_maxwell_smart_of_national_security

Anonymous said...

Whyisitso,
You need to stop watching Fox news and parroting US rightwing buzz words. All judgments are activist in some way, since all cases are new in some way. I'd trust an educated judge over a religious fanatic and xenophobic immigration minister any day.

Bring Back CL's blog said...

some evidence would be nice if the good doctor had a bad association but all Andrews could produce was a translation of SOME of a conversation which wood-ducks like Harry lapped up.

Andrews said it is better to be safe than sorry.

Is this man crazy. Sorry about what?

If a minister is going to deport a person, which he wasn't on this occasion, he needs evidence to support his case.
He never had it

hc said...

Read the post Homer before you comment. You too schlomo.

The good Justice Spender said there was sufficient grounds and evidence to revoke the visa. It was just - he claims- that Andrews used the wrong rationale.

Shlomo said...

Harry, you just don't get it, but I'll give you some help here. The justice's opinion effectively means that he wants it to go through the courts with evidence not via a political decision that usurped the court via innuendo and defamatory snippets of misleading information. Once there, it would be rejected for the same reason the case against him was rejected: flimsy evidence. Hence you are wrong, the expert has spoken what he could in public, but to the educated in law the meaning is clear. Wrong again Harry. One would think you grow tired of chewing on crow.

Bring Back CL's blog said...

what he said.

Shlomo said...

OK, lets knock this on the head. From a fairfax paper:

Andrews is just plain lying about Haneef's suspicious flight from Oz:

***"THE supposedly damning internet chat-room conversation between Mohamed Haneef and his brother included an entreaty for Dr Haneef to leave his contact details with the British police before leaving Australia.

But this detail was omitted by the Immigration Minister, Kevin Andrews, when he went public with the discussion.

Dr Haneef's brother asked him, in Urdu, if he had been able to contact a Scotland Yard officer, Tony Walker. "I am not able to get at his phone," replied Dr Haneef in the translation presented to him by police. His brother then said: "Tell him the phone number and come."

Before leaving Brisbane, Dr Haneef tried on four occasions to contact the British police. But Shuaib Haneef's further urging of Dr Haneef to assist police with their inquiries was not mentioned by Mr Andrews.

Instead, he referred to Shuaib advising Dr Haneef: "Tell them you have to as you have a daughter born. Do not tell them anything else."

This was presented as meaning Dr Haneef had something to hide, but Mr Andrews did not mention the conversation took place after Dr Haneef made all his travel plans and repeatedly tried to call British police.

Mr Andrews also did not mention that Dr Haneef believed parts of the transcript - which reads as if it were spoken in broken English, not the conversation of two educated brothers in their mother tongue - had been mistranslated. "***

Andrews was on TV repeating this lie tonight. And you trust him to act on secret information? Get real. You have an incredibly naive trust of Government unbecoming of an economist.

Bring Back CL's blog said...

the transcript which shows the trnslation rpoblem I thought would exist but was poopooed for shows Andrews is one of three things. He is an idiot, a liar or both.

Wood-ducks who believed him are now eating a lot of crow

Anonymous said...

Fuzzflash sez...

Way to go, Shlomo. Not all of us wish to live under ministerial whim, especially when the minister is a zealous nincompoop like Andrews, a functionary who appears completely devoid of humour and wit. Perhaps Andrews' snuffing of Dr Phil Nitschke's voluntary euthanasia initiatives a few years back, against the wishes of a significant majority of Oz citizns, emboldened him to the point where gratuitous character assassination for perceived political advantage, comes with the territory.
I can't seem to figure out why he doesn't wear his predecessor's ever so shiny Amnesty International lapel badge.

Anon@8:35 pm references that esteemed and unbiased source, the GG, to buttress your viewpoint, Harry. Nothing like a spot of peer-reviewed support, I suppose.

And bbclb adds a lovely bit of Hitchcockian imagery, H being a keen twitcher 'n' all:
"Wood-ducks who believed him are now eating a lot of crow"

Wood-ducks chowing down on crow. I like that.

derrida derider said...

I'd just add my bit to the other people here ridiculing you, Harry.

Harry ,you took an incompetent Minister at his word. The selective leaking of an out-of-context, poorly translated interview excerpt was hailed by you at the time as vindicating that Minister. With the release of the rest of the interview that leak has subsequently been shown to be the latest in a string of lies.

That publicly pious Christian (I'm reminded of the phrase "whited sepulchre") was - and still is - too cowardly to admit he and his minions bungled it and persecuted an innocent man. And he's too incompetent to prevent being discovered in the lie.

It's the Minister, not the judge, who has abused your trust. Redirect your fire appropriately.

hc said...

DD, The Minister was not evaluating guilt but whether under the Migration Act he should revoke a visa. The Justice Spender made the judgement that he should have been excluded under the act though the Minister evoked the wrong criteria - he should have used others. There were other grounds to exclude him.

I agree with Peter Faris - Justice Spender brought the law into disrespect with this inept ruling.

The venom with which you describe the Minister as a 'pious Christian' stinks of hypocrisy.

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