Appendix 6: Matters before courts and administrative tribunals

During the year the department was involved in the following matters before courts and administrative tribunals.

Courts

A foreign court struck out proceedings brought against the Commonwealth in which the applicants sought compensation for breaches of rights and an order for documents.

The department is defending an action brought by a consular client in relation to incarceration overseas.

The department is involved in an action seeking judicial review of visa application decisions.

The department continued to assist, up to its conclusion, an inquiry by the Coroner's Court of Victoria into the death of an Australian overseas.

Proceedings against the department for alleged misconduct giving rise to racial discrimination were struck out.

An action brought by an employee alleging discrimination by the department and another employee were dismissed.

The department continues to be involved in two related employment actions in overseas courts brought by two former locally engaged staff members.

The department continues to defend an appeal with respect to an employment action brought in a foreign court by a former locally engaged staff member.

The department is defending two separate employment actions brought in foreign courts by former locally engaged staff members.

The department continues to defend claims for unfair dismissal brought by former employees following redundancies at an overseas post.

The department continues to defend against an appeal brought against the department alleging breach of contract in relation to the relocation of an Australian mission overseas.

The department complied with discovery, subpoena and other document production obligations in a range of matters, including matters brought against the Commonwealth and other Australian government agencies.

The department was regularly involved in the service of documents through the diplomatic channel relating to private litigation brought overseas and in Australia, and from time to time in the service of documents on foreign governments under the Foreign States Immunities Act 1985.

Tribunals

The department was involved in applications before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) concerning passports matters. During the year there was one case in which the Minister's decision to cancel a passport was upheld. Five cases were withdrawn and one case was discontinued. At the end of the financial year there were four active applications before the AAT for review of passport decisions. Six applications were on hold or adjourned.

The Human Rights Commission terminated two complaints alleging sex discrimination.

A complaint alleging sex and marital status discrimination was withdrawn by the applicant.

The department has appealed the decision of a foreign tribunal concerning a former locally engaged staff member.