Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2012
An administrative review tribunal ‘stands in the shoes of the original decision-maker’. It reconsiders an administrative decision with the objective of making the correct or preferable decision based on the facts before it, and in accordance with the applicable law. It is axiomatic to merits review that an administrative review tribunal has power to substitute its decision for that of the original decision-maker.
Primary decisions about migration and refugee visa applications are made under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) by the Minister for Immigration or DIAC officials acting as the Minister's delegates. Subject to a few exceptions mentioned below, those decisions are subject to merits review by the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT), the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).