An Adelaide man who has been in immigration
detention since June 2016 and facing deportation to the UK over
links with the Comancheros bikie gang has won his latest legal fight
against the Immigration Minister.
Federal Government first stripped Paul Burgess of permanent
residency based on two months of gang membership.
The Federal Court was told that when that
decision was quashed in earlier proceedings, Immigration Minister
Peter Dutton ruled — after 20 minutes of consideration — to cancel
the visa again on grounds including a conviction for driving
Mr Burgess' lawyer Mitchell Simmons said
that decision had now been quashed by the court and his client was
set to fly home to his fiancee and six-year-old son in Adelaide.
"The court has found in our case and, as it
has found previously, that the time taken … is simply not enough for
the Minister to have realistically considered all the factors he
needs to make a decision of this magnitude," he said.
Mr Burgess, who has been in detention on
Christmas Island, has not been in the UK since he was aged two.
"His visa has been reinstated.
Unfortunately because it is Christmas Island, planes only leave on
Tuesdays and Thursdays and he is still technically within the
Christmas Island detention centre," his lawyer said.
"We, of course, are very excited by the
news that we have had the decision quashed."
Mr Simmons said he remained wary the
Federal Government might act again against his client.
"Following the decision [on Monday], we
lodged an urgent application seeking to restrain the Minister from
re-cancelling Paul's visa within the next 24 hours — unfortunately
that was dismissed."
The lawyer said any move to cancel his
client's visa again would be challenged.
Case required more than 'superficial
Mr Burgess was stripped of his residency as
part of a nationwide purge of criminals without citizenship, aimed
at disrupting Australia's most notorious criminal organisations.
He was brought to Australia by his English
parents in 1986 and his fiancee Megan Ferris said his childhood had
not been settled, and he often spent days alone at home.
Mr Burgess admitted he joined the bikie
gang for a couple of months in 2013 at the urging of a school friend
and that "I don't even know how to ride".
Justice Natalie Charlesworth ruled the
Minister's full consideration of Mr Burgess' case "required
something more than superficial perusal".
"In all of the circumstances, I
consider it more probable than not that the Minister did not
engage in the active intellectual process of reviewing the …
materials," the judgment said.
"Accordingly, I am satisfied that the
Minister did not properly decide the issues bearing on the exercise
of the power … in relation to Mr Burgess' visa on their substantial
A response is being sought from the Federal