Must AAT consider information considered by previous AAT?

Federal Court. If a decision-maker first states its conclusion and then talks about the evidence concerning that conclusion, does that indicate the decision-maker made the conclusion without considering that evidence? Does s 416 require AAT to refuse to consider the information that was before a previous AAT, or to have regard to the previous AAT's decision, or to take it to be correct? Can AAT adopt or accept the conclusion or the process of reasoning of a previous AAT in whole or in part?

Some of the questions to the Federal Court (FCA) were as follows:

Question 1: If a decision-maker first states its conclusion and then talks about the evidence concerning that conclusion, does that indicate that the decision-maker made the conclusion without considering that evidence?

Question 2: Does s 416 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) require the Tribunal to refuse to consider the information that was before a previous Tribunal, or to have regard to the previous Tribunal's decision, or to take it to be correct?

Question 3: Can the Tribunal, under s 416, adopt or accept the conclusion or the process of reasoning of a previous Tribunal in whole or in part in a proper case?

Question 4: Is a subsequent Tribunal always required under s 416 to consider all the evidence before it, even if some or all of that evidence was information that was before the previous Tribunal?

Question 5: Is the obligation of the subsequent Tribunal to approach the review with an open mind qualified by s 416?

Question 6: Will the subsequent Tribunal make an error if it proceeds on the basis that the manner in which a previous Tribunal decided a matter constrains it?

Question 7: In exercising the discretion under s 416 whether to have regard to, and take to be correct, the decision of a previous Tribunal, does the subsequent Tribunal need to read the reasons of the previous Tribunal with an open mind, including a mind open to the possibility that the previous Tribunal made an error?

Question 8: In exercising the discretion under s 416, can the subsequent Tribunal rely on the decision of the previous Tribunal about information that was before the previous Tribunal instead of considering that information for itself afresh?

Question 9: Could the subsequent Tribunal decline to consider the previous information without also accepting the decision of the previous Tribunal as correct?

Question 10: Is it open to a subsequent Tribunal to both consider the information that was before the previous Tribunal and have regard to the previous Tribunal's decision and/or take it to be correct?

Question 11: Does the permission in s 416 operate as a qualification to the duty of review in s 414 and s 425?

The FCA answered those questions as follows:

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