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Annual Report 2005-06: Significant judicial decisions and administrative review decisions

Significant judicial decisions and administrative review decisions

In March 2005, CASA made an application to the Federal Court of Australia under section 39B of the Judiciary Act 1903 (Cwth) to review the decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal made on 11 February 2005 under subsection 41(2) of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cwth), to stay CASA’s decision of 14 January 2005 cancelling an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and to extend the operation of that AOC until such time as the tribunal made its ultimate decision in the matter. When the order was made, the AOC had expired.

On 27 July 2005, the Federal Court dismissed CASA’s application on the basis that subsection 41(2) of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act did not preclude the tribunal from making an order which was ‘positive’ in effect, in the sense of making an order that, pending the hearing of the application, a review applicant may continue to enjoy a statutory benefit, which the impugned decision would otherwise have denied. It also found that the decision made on 14 January 2005 was a decision refusing to issue an AOC, so that there was an operative decision for the tribunal to consider. The decision is significant because for the first time the Federal Court confirmed that section 41 allows the tribunal to make decisions that have a positive effect.