Judge faces judicial review over immigration rulings

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

Street should have excused himself because it appeared he was biased after he continually ruled against immigration applications, a court has heard.

According to a report by The Guardian, statistics presented in court showed that Street had ruled against 254 out of 265 immigration cases in a six-month period last year.  Barrister Jay Williams told the court that there was a one in 100 chance of having an immigration ruling overturned but there is a one in 10 chance with other judges.

“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,” Williams said.

He told the court that serious criticism has been made over a multitude of judgements.

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

But Neil Williams SC, appearing for the Australian Government Solicitors, discredited the analysis.

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

Williams responded saying that the government could have called upon another statistician to give evidence but had chosen not to, The Guardian reported.

The decision has been reserved until a later date.

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