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In 2017-18, the AAT reviewed 224 decisions made by the Department of Home Affairs to cancel a non-citizen’s visa on character grounds when they have been convicted of a criminal offence. While these decisions are a small proportion of the AAT’s overall caseload, representing 0.5% of the total decisions made in 2017-18, they are more complex and can attract public interest.

When we review these types of matters, we rely on the applicant and the representative of the Minister to gather and lodge in advance of the hearing the evidence relating to the considerations under the Ministerial direction that are relevant in the individual case. The parties generally decide what evidence they will put before the AAT. We may discuss with the parties the evidence that would be helpful in deciding a case and may, in certain circumstances, request or direct a party to lodge particular information.

Information about the impacts on victims and their family members is taken into account when the information is made available to the Tribunal. For example, the Minister’s representative may provide the AAT with  any sentencing remarks made by the trial judge or with victim impact statements filed in the relevant criminal proceedings. In some cases, an applicant may provide victim impact information, but this is only likely to be when the information is favourable to the applicant.