Community Footprint: Successful Judicial Review of Asylum Application

As part of Wotton + Kearney’s Community Footprint Corporate Social Responsibility programme, a team of the firm’s lawyers, led by partner Catherine Osborne, have partnered with The Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) in acting for Asylum Seekers in their applications for Judicial Review of the Independent Merits Review decisions. These decisions find that the Asylum Seeker in question does not meet the criteria of a Refugee.

Our first matter was heard by the Federal Magistrates Court in March 2012 and judgment has just been handed down.

Our client fled his home in Sri Lanka in May 2010 due to political unrest and fear for his own life. He remained in a detention centre in Australia until January 2012 when he was released into community detention. However, the Independent Merits Reviewer determined that he did not satisfy the criteria of a Refugee and therefore was not entitled to claim asylum in Australia.

Wotton + Kearney lawyer Lisa Feltz represented the client in his application for Judicial Review of the decision. Federal Magistrate Driver found in favour of our client, ruling that the recommendations of the Independent Merits Reviewer were not made in accordance with the law. In addition, the Court awarded our client the maximum costs allowed, being $6,240.

This is a great win for our client personally, and for the work of PILCH generally. This is an important cause and one that Wotton + Kearney is proud to be a part of. For more information on PILCH, click here: http://www.pilch.org.au/.

13/04/2012