Demeanour

High Court. Delegate: interviewed Appellant in person and audio recorded it; was convinced, based on demeanour, that Appellant's evidence during interview was plausible and consistent with country information, but refused to grant protection visa. IAA: received a copy of the recording, but did not have the benefit of assessing Appellant's demeanour; found interview showed Appellant's evidence was lacking in detail, vague and hesitant. Was it legally unreasonable for IAA to base its decision on demeanour without having invited him to a hearing or without making allowances for the delegate's advantage of assessing demeanour? Is the materiality test a criterion for jurisdictional error (with judicial review applicants bearing the onus of proof) or is it rather a question of discretion to refuse relief based on utility (with respondents) bearing that onus?

Some of the questions to the High Court (HCA) were as follows:

Question 1: Was it legally unreasonable for Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA) to base its decision on demeanour without having invited the Appellant to a hearing?

Question 2: Was it legally unreasonable for IAA to base its decision on demeanour without making allowances for the advantage the delegate had to interview the Appellant?

Question 3: Is the materiality test a criterion for jurisdictional error (with judicial review applicants bearing the onus of proof) or is it rather a question of discretion to refuse relief based on utility (with respondents bearing the onus of proof)? 

The HCA answered those questions as follows:

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