28 September 2015

 

Australia has once again gained worldwide coverage for our love affair with celebrities. As the Johnny Depp ‘dog saga’, hit a new note on the back of Depp’s ‘threat’ to assaultsome kind of sweaty, big-gutted man from Australia”, specifically our Minister of Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, another celebrity has been caught in the web.

Chris ‘Breezy’ Brown has been formally denied a visa to perform in Australia as part of his One Hell of a Nite tour.

 

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If Chris does not get a visa to enter Australia, he would not be the first high-profile celebrity turned back this year: Floyd Mayweather was also unsuccessful earlier this year.

 

Let’s break it down (bow chicka wow wow):

 

1. Chris Brown v Peter Dutton (Part I).

Under the Migration Act, the Minister (currently Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection) has a large discretion to refuse to grant an Australian visa (or cancel one that has been granted) if:

  1. He reasonably suspects that the person does not pass the character test; and
  2. It is in the national interest to do so.

The circumstances where someone would fail the character test range from 12 months imprisonment to the reasonable suspicion that the person is or has been involved in human trafficking or crimes against humanity.

In Breezy’s case, he was given a five year probation for the assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna, meaning that he does not pass the character test.

 

2. The GetUp! campaign against Chris Brown.

This kerfuffle came into the spotlight after GetUp! launched a huge campaign against the singer, petitioning the Minister to deny his visa application as a symbol of the fight against domestic violence. This coincided with the government’s $100 million pledge towards tackling the issue of domestic violence in Australia.

[UPDATE: GetUp! has issued an apology for the racist aspects of their campaign.]

 

3. Chris Brown has been issued a Notice of Intention to Consider Refusal.

Chris has the chance to respond to the Notice and provide reasons of why he should be granted a visa. This has to be done within 28 days of the Notice. Factors that are taken into account include rehabilitation and active contribution to society.

 

[UPDATE: Chris Brown took to Twitter to express his intentions to set things right and raise awareness for domestic violence if he gets the chance to enter Australia. This is perhaps a show of his intention to contribute to society and represents that he has been rehabilitated.]

4. Time is running out.

If his visa is not approved after replying to the Notice, Chris can apply for an appeal of the decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) within 9 days of that decision.

If Chris is successful at any stage and gets a granted a visa, he should be able to make his first concert, scheduled for 9 December.

 

Let us know what you think about the decision to refuse to grant Chris Brown a visa by tagging us #lawpath or @lawpath.

If you are facing visa issues of your own and would like more information, give us a call on 1800 LAWPATH.

Dominic Woolrych

Dominic is the CEO of LawPath, dedicating his days to making legal easier, faster and more accessible to businesses. Dominic is a recognised thought-leader in Australian legal disruption, and was recognised as a winner of the 2015 Australian Legal Innovation Index.