Many departmental decisions are reviewable on their merits. The merits review is conducted by a merits review tribunal, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
The AAT is an independent merits review tribunal that reviews administrative decisions by government, including:
• a range of visa refusal and visa cancellation decisions (known as migration decisions)
• most onshore protection refusal decisions (known as refugee decisions); and
• character-related refusal decisions, certain cancellation decisions and citizenship refusal decisions.
The AAT undertakes an impartial investigation and the department or minister is not represented.
All merits review tribunals have the power to set aside the departmental decision and substitute the decision of the tribunal, including making appropriate directions to the departmental decision makers. In the case of the IPA, the recommendation is to the minister.