New migration and refugee tribunal appointments
Friday, 29 June 2012
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, today announced a series of new appointments, including a new principal member, to the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) and the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT).
Mr Bowen said the new principal member Kay Ransome would head the independent review tribunals while three senior members and 33 other new members have also been appointed.
'Ms Ransome has an excellent knowledge of administrative law and having previously worked as a member at the RRT she has a sound understanding of migration law,' Mr Bowen said.
'The combination of her extensive administrative law practice, executive experience and background in relevant tribunals, makes her an ideal appointee for this position.
'Ms Ransome will succeed Denis O'Brien, who will be remembered for his strong contribution to the review tribunals.'
The MRT and RRT provide an independent and final merits review of decisions made in relation to visas to travel to, enter or stay in Australia. The MRT reviews decisions made relative to general visas (for example, visitor, student, partner, family, business, skilled visas) and the RRT deals with decisions made about protection (refugee) visas.
Mr Bowen said the new senior members and members (14 full-time and 19 part-time) had been selected from a competitive field of more than 500 applicants.
'The separate selection processes for the all the new appointments were merit-based. I'm confident the successful applicants will bring a wide range of skills and will make a strong contribution to the tribunals,' he said.
'The recommendations to Government by the independent selection committees were based on the applicants' demonstrated strong sense of fairness and understanding of administrative law principles, as well the ability to determine review applications with sound judgement.'
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship's chief lawyer chaired the selection advisory committee for the senior members and members, with the principal member of the MRT-RRT, a representative of the Australian Public Service Commission and a community representative.
Members have been appointed on a part-time or full-time basis for periods of either three or five years commencing 1 July 2012. All senior members have been appointed for five years full-time starting 1 July. Ms Ransome has been appointed for five years, starting in August.
The new appointments are partially in response to an independent internal departmental review by Professor Michael Lavarch to reduce system-clogging delays and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of both the MRT and RRT. The review is available on department's website.
See: Lavarch Review and Single Protection Processing
Principal member, Kay Ransome
Kay Ransome was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2008. Her most recent role was as the chairperson of the New South Wales Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal. She has served as Registrar of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and has previously worked as a member of the RRT.
Senior member, Miriam Holmes
Miriam Holmes holds a Bachelor of Laws as well as a Bachelor of Jurisprudence. She is currently a senior member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal. Ms Holmes has previously been a member of the Building Appeals Board (1997-1999) and a part-time member for the Tax Practitioners' Board (2009-2011). From 2000 to 2002 she was the principal solicitor, Administrative Law/Property and Commercial Branches in the Victorian Government Solicitor's Office. From 1995 to 2000, she was the manager of the Native Title Unit Administrative Law Branch, Victorian Government Solicitor's Office.
Senior member, Louise Nicholls
Louise Nicholls was admitted to practice in NSW and the ACT in 1977. She has practised as a solicitor in private practice, in the ACT Legal Aid Office, as a senior instructor at the Australian National University (ANU) Legal Workshop and a lecturer in Legal Ethics at the ANU. Since 1996, she has taught students at the College of Law, Sydney. From 1996 to 2001, she was the Solicitor in Charge of the Parramatta office of the Legal Aid Commission of NSW. She has served on the Professional Conduct Committee of the ACT Law Society and the Ethics Committee of the NSW Law Society. She was a part-time member of the NSW Consumer, Tenancy and Trading Tribunal from 2007 to 2010. She was appointed as a member of the MRT-RRT in 2001. Ms Nicholls has also acted as senior reviewer with the Independent Protection Assessment Office, and as senior member with the MRT-RRT.
Senior member, Sue Raymond
Sue Raymond holds a Bachelor of Laws as well as a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice. Ms Raymond is a senior member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal. From 2004 to 2006, she was the inaugural professional development and policy officer for the Office of the State Department of Public Prosecutions. From 2000 to 2004, Ms Raymond was the director of Legal Practitioners Conduct Board and from 1995 to 2000 she was a presiding member of the Residential Tenancies Tribunal. Ms Raymond has completed courses in alternative dispute resolution and mediation.
Further information about the tribunals and a full list of new appointees is available on Migration Review Tribunal - Refugee Review Tribunal.
Last update: Friday, 29 June 2012 at 16:59 AEST