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.