Are jurisdictional errors made by DHA irrelevant to merits review?

Federal Court: It is often said that jurisdictional errors made by an original decision-maker are always irrelevant to a merits review application, given that the Tribunal will make a decision de novo. However, that is not always the case, as this decision illustrates.

Summary

Although this decision did not involve the Department of Immigration, it has precedential value to migration decisions, especially because it cites several judgements on migration matters.

As the Federal Court (FCA) initially said, a 'person is not entitled to challenge an administrative decision on natural justice or other grounds where there has been a comprehensive appeal or review which has “cured” any defect touching the earlier decision'.

However, there are circumstances where a jurisdictional error made by an original decision-maker will not be irrelevant to a merits review application, as the FCA went on to explain...

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