Federal Court. Direction 79 provides: "crimes of a violent nature against women or children are viewed very seriously". AAT set aside delegate's decision not to revoke under s 501CA(4) the mandatory cancellation of the Applicant's visa under s 501(3A). AAT said that Applicant had "committed offences of violence which relate to vulnerable people" and found that those offences were "serious", not "very serious". Did that finding in itself constitute a jurisdictional error? Does para 13.1.1(1)(b) state that "crimes of a violent nature against women and children are viewed very seriously, regardless of the sentence imposed"? Does para 13.1.2 require AAT to "reach a decision on the nature of the harm that might be involved"? Did AAT engage with para 13.2(4)?
The questions to the Federal Court (FCA) were as follows:
Question 1: Did the Tribunal's finding that the Applicant's offences were "serious", as opposed to "very serious", in and of itself constitute a jurisdictional error?
Question 2: Does para 13.1.1(1)(b) of Direction 79 state that "crimes of a violent nature against women and children are viewed very seriously, regardless of the sentence imposed"?
Question 3: Does para 13.1.2 of Direction 79 require the Tribunal to "reach a decision on the nature of the harm that might be involved"?
Question 4: "[T]he Tribunal simply made high level findings that the respondent had, and continues to have, a “deep and loving relationship with his children” and that he would be able to “continue a highly satisfactory and appropriate relationship” with them". Did the Tribunal "engage with the detail of the factors that the Tribunal was obliged to take into account", namely those under paragraphs 13.2(4)(a) – (e) of Direction 79?
The FCA answered those questions as follows:
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