This week we enjoyed a speaker with an ostensibly dry topic - the workings of the Commonwealth Appeal Tribunal - yet Rob Cameron, pictured above with Gilly Swinnerton,  gave us  a living, breathing insight through exquisitely vibrant word pictures of the work the Tribunal achieves.

Along our journey together, Rob explained the differences between VCAT, the CAAT and general court work (with which Rob is well familiar from his years as a barrister in Melbourne). VCAT mainly deals with the ability of private citizens to sue whereas the CAAT works in the area of appeals against government agencies.

Rob told an amazing story about an appeal against rejection of an NDIS provider to support taxis to the Casino for a very disabled but enchanting young man, mentioned all too briefly its work supporting small businesses in stouches against the ATO and revealed  a few details of their closed courts that apply to security matters.

Rob explained that the major controversies seen when visas are cancelled on grounds of poor character, and the dire implications for visa holders. Fortunately, he said, not all tribunal members  are lawyers; expert representatives from relevant areas of expertise are called upon when the matters need assistance, such as retired military commanders and members with specific expertise (although Rob Simpson had some comments and insight into the building representatives  calls to adjudicate).

The questions had to be closed well before we were satiated, and it Rob’s eloquence and insight delighted everyone present, some unexpectedly I was told as we departed.

Thank you Rob