10 March 2005

Australian Government introduces Bill to streamline Australian immigration processes

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In an effort to restore integrity in its migration system and improve the confidence levels of those seeking Australian visas and those looking to immigrate to Australia, the Australian Government has introduced the Migration Litigation Reform Bill 2005.

Concern has been growing in Australia about the high volume of migration cases, unmeritorious litigation and delays clogging the federal courts and the migration system as a whole.

The Bill will direct nearly all migration cases to the Federal Magistrates Court, re-instate time limits, and streamline court processes.

It will also make lawyers and migration advisers personally accountable for bringing forth cases which have no reasonable prospect of success.

The reforms, combined with the appointment of eight additional federal magistrates last year, are designed to assist the courts in managing their migration litigation workloads more efficiently, and improve access to justice for cases with merit.

The magistrates have taken up their positions and are assisting with the migration workload of the Federal Magistrates Court.

The Government has said it is committed to applicants with genuine claims but is not prepared to accept Australians being denied access to the justice system due to a high volume of unmeritorious migration cases.

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