Federal Court judge accused of bias

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Federal Court judge Alexander Street has been accused of apprehended bias after he rejected more than 250 appeals in migration appeals in just six months.

Two rulings by Judge Street, who is from one of Australia’s most famous legal families, have been subject to appeals and in the Full Federal Court, which has criticised him, the ABC reported yesterday.

Applicants have presented statistics to show that migration decisions had virtually no chance of success within the six month period this year.  Of 254 rulings, the statistics showed that 252 appeals were rejected, ruling in favour of the immigration minister on nearly every case.

Judge Street has already been the subject of such criticism when two appeals against his decisions denying litigant procedural fairness were successful.

The Street family has produced three NSW chief justices, Judge Street’s father, Sir Laurence Street, served as chief justice between 1974 and 1988.

According to the ABC, Judge Streets appointment into the Federal Circuit Court judiciary attracted media attention when it was revealed that he faced possible bankruptcy and was in hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

The eight judges on the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney delivered 357 cases between them from January to June this year, while Judge Street delivered 286 cases himself, within the same period.