Case C16/2020

Commonwealth of Australia v. AJL20

Case No.

C16/2020, C17/2020

Case Information


Constitutional law – Chapter III – Immigration detention – Where second respondent citizen of Syria and granted visa in 2005 – Where Minister for Immigration and Border Protection cancelled visa on character grounds in 2014 under s 501(2) Migration Act 1958 (Cth) (“Act”) – Where second respondent detained by officer of Commonwealth from 8 October 2014 under s 189(1) of Act – Where Minister accepted Australia has non-refoulement obligations to second respondent – Where Minister refused to grant protection visa and declined to consider granting visa under s 195A of Act on 25 July 2019 – Where detention of unlawful non-citizen lawful if for permissible purpose – Where removal from Australia permissible purpose – Where, from 26 July 2019, officer of Commonwealth obliged to remove second respondent from Australia “as soon as reasonably practicable” under s 198 of Act – Where primary judge held detention unlawful since 26 July 2019 and ordered second respondent be released from detention – Whether second respondent’s removal from Australia “reasonably practicable” – Whether second respondent’s detention for purpose of removal from Australia – Whether second respondent’s detention lawful – Whether ss 189 and 196 require detention of unlawful non-citizen until removal from Australia despite non-compliance with duty of removal consistently with Ch III of Constitution.  

Torts – False imprisonment – Whether second respondent falsely imprisoned. 


17/12/2020 Hearing (Single Justice, Sydney)

21/12/2020 Causes Removed from Federal Court of Australia

19/02/2021 Written submissions (Appellant)

19/02/2021 Chronology (Appellant)

12/03/2021 Written submissions (Respondent)

26/03/2021 Reply

13/04/2021 Hearing (Full Court, Canberra) (Audio-visual recording)

13/04/2021 Outline of oral argument (Appellant)

13/04/2021 Outline of oral argument (Respondent)

23/06/2021 Judgment (Judgment summary)