Judge faces judicial review over ‘biased’ immigration rulings

A federal circuit judge who continually ruled against immigration applications should have excused himself from hearing the cases because it appeared he was biased, the federal court has heard.

Federal circuit court judge Alexander “Sandy” Street is facing a judicial review application, in part over his handling of a string of immigration matters.

A statistical analysis presented in court outlined that Street had ruled against 254 out of 256 immigration applicants between 1 January 2015 and 19 June 2015.

Barrister Jay Williams told the chief justice, James Allsop, Justice John Griffiths and Justice Susan Kenny there was “a one in 10 chance before other judges and a 1 in 100 chance before this judge” of having an immigration ruling overturned.

“An informed observer would find there is a possibility of a reasonable apprehension of bias … 99.21% of applicants were thrown out on the first court date,” he said.

He also said that was a “multitude of judgments over a long period of time where serious criticism has been made”.

“Despite the serious criticism coming from the full court this behaviour continues,” he said.

But Neil Williams SC, appearing for the Australian Government Solicitors, told the court the statistical analysis was flawed.

“The so-called statistical evidence is indeed not any such thing. A professional statistician would not draw inferences of this kind,” he said.

Jay Williams responded and said the government could have called a statistician to give evidence, but they had chosen not to.

The full court has reserved its decision until a later date.

Source: Judge faces judicial review over ‘biased’ immigration rulings | Australia news | The Guardian

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