The AAT released its annual report for the year ended 30 June 2018 recently. The following are some of the highlights from the report in relation to the Migration and Refugee Division of the AAT:
- In 2017/18 the MRD received 37,933 applications for review (or appeals) which equates to 65% of all applications lodged with the AAT. This is an increase of 43%;
- Of this figure of 37,933, 26,445 appeals in the migration area were lodged, whereas 11,488 refugee appeals were lodged;
- A total of 17,960 appeals were finalised during this period which represented 45% of the caseload, but a further 44,436 are on hand and await review;
- The total number of migration appeals finalised in the year decreased to 12,539 from 13,755 the previous year. However, the total number of refugee appeals finalised increased to 5,421 in 2017-2018 from 5,153 the previous year;
- 3.1% of decisions from the AAT were overturned on further appeal to the courts;
- The median time to finalise a migration (ie non-refugee) appeal by the AAT increased to 50 weeks in 2017-2018 from 39 weeks the previous year.
In relation to the result of the appeals:
- In 2017–18, the AAT changed the decision or otherwise remitted the matter to the Department of Home Affairs in 29 per cent of finalised migration cases compared with 38 per cent in 2016–17.
- The original decision was affirmed in 35 per cent of cases.
- The remainder of the applications were either withdrawn (20 per cent), did not meet application requirements (10 per cent) or were dismissed by the Tribunal on the basis that the applicant failed to appear at a hearing (5 per cent).
The complete report can view viewed at www.aat.gov.au