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Senate: immigration appeals to be posted online

Immigration Appeals Tribunal chairman Tim Marshall

The Immigration Appeals Tribunal, an independent body created in 2011, will publish its judgments online commencing on Friday.

The IAT had been left without governing regulations for more than a year after its creation, with 44 cases waiting to be heard as of May 2013.

Michael Fahy, the Minister of Home Affairs, told the Senate this morning that the IAT had dealt with about 60 cases since then.

There have been 21 formal hearings resulting in “a body of well-reasoned written decisions that have influenced and shaped our understanding of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956, as well as influenced policies at the Department of Immigration for the better”, Senator Fahy told the Upper House.

The first decision of the IAT was in regard to jurisdiction, and it was determined that the Act did not give the IAT jurisdiction to hear appeals on work permit decisions. Of the remaining 20 decisions, 13 rulings upheld the minister’s decision, while seven quashed the minister’s decision.

Most of the decisions deal with the refusal to grant Bermudian status or Permanent Resident’s Certificates.

One case dealt with a sham marriage and revocation of Bermuda status.

The IAT’s chairman, Tim Marshall, has pledged to ensure that IAT decisions will be published on a new IAT website before he steps down after three years at the post. Mr Marshall will be succeeded as chairman by Kiernan Bell, the deputy chairman, who will take the helm of the tribunal on January 1, 2016.