Federal Court: In the context of s 501BA(2), FCAFC had held in Ibrahim that: Minister conflated non-refoulement with the protection obligations under Migration Act; error was material because the internal relocation principle, which formed part of the non-refoulement obligations, no longer formed part of the protection obligations under the Act. In DGI19: FCA held Ibrahim applied to s 501CA(4); but Minister argued it should be distinguished on the basis that DGI19 did not argue to Minister the difference between the non-refoulement obligations and the protection obligations under the Act for the purposes of the relocation principle; FCA did not distinguish Ibrahim, holding that it was "not incumbent on an applicant proleptically to deal with the possibility of relocation". Was Omar (first instance) wrongly decided?
DGI19, a previous decision of a single judge of the Federal Court, contained the following paragraph (emphasis added in this article):
84 Secondly, the Minister submits that: the factual circumstances of this matter are distinct from those in Ibrahim; in that case, international relocation principles could have potentially had a bearing on the existence of non-refoulement obligations owed at international law to the appellant; those principles would not, however, affect an assessment of the appellant’s ability to satisfy the protection obligation criteria in s 36(2) of the Migration Act; on that basis the Full Court held that conflation of Australia’s non-refoulement obligations at international law with the protection obligation criteria in s 36(2) was material to the outcome of the Assistant Minister’s decision: Ibrahim at . Here, on the other hand, the Minister submits, no issue of internal relocation would or could properly arise on the basis of the applicant’s representations; any purported conflation by the Minister (which is denied) was not material and did not give rise to jurisdictional error: see Hossain v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (2018) 359 ALR 1 at -; Minister for Immigration and Border Protection v SZMTA (2019) 363 ALR 599 at -. In my view, these matters do not provide a basis for distinguishing Ibrahim. First, as stated at  above, the misunderstanding as to the operation of the Migration Act was material and constitutes a jurisdictional error because there is the possibility that if the Minister had not made the error he would have considered the representations relating to non-refoulement obligations and come to a different conclusion. Secondly, it is not incumbent on an applicant proleptically to deal with the possibility of relocation. Thus, there was and is potential for the application of the principle in this case. Thirdly, Parliament’s decision not to reflect the “internal relocation principle” in the visa criterion in s 36(2)(a) is not the only respect in which there is a substantial divergence between the content of Australia’s non-refoulement obligations and the protection visa criteria. Another example is Parliament’s decision to require an applicant to satisfy the decision-maker that a person has a specific “intention” to cause him or her certain kinds of harm in order to satisfy the visa criterion in s 36(2)(aa): see SZTAL v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (2017) 262 CLR 362 at -.
The remainder of this article is only available to Case Law and Platinum subscribers.
Read our Terms & Conditions and upgrade below:
Where GST applies, the above amounts are inclusive of GST.
Basic Content includes basic news, some media articles and selected announcements.
Premium Content includes all our content, except for Case Law Content. In other words, it includes Basic Content, plus all our articles on legislative and policy changes, industry updates and the Migration Legislation Tracker.
Case Law Content includes Basic Content, plus case law summaries, analysis and extract, but does not include Premium Content.
Platinum Content includes Basic Content, plus Premium Content, plus Case Law Content. In other words, it includes ALL our content.
If you already have a Case Law or Platinum subscription, click on 'Login' below.