Federal Court. On 10 June 2020, Flick J held that BAL19 was not plainly wrong and declared that the Minister's delay in deciding the Applicant's protection visa application was unreasonable. His Honour held on that date that it was unnecessary to issue mandamus ordering the Minister to make a decision within a deadline his Honour expected that the Minister would abide by the declaration and make a decision without delay. However, the Minister wrote to the Applicant as follows after Flick J's decision: "As the Minister has now appealed the judgment of Justice Flick, no decision will be made on your client’s visa application pending the outcome of the appeal. The Minister’s position is that s 501A is an available power in relation to your client’s visa application and that Justice Flick was in error in finding that the delay in making such a decision was unreasonable and that s 501A was not an available power in the circumstances of this matter. Any decision made prior to the resolution of the appeal as to whether BAL19 was wrongly decided would render the appeal moot". Can Ministers of the Crown be imprisoned for contempt of court?
The Federal Court answered that question as follows:
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