A tribunal wrongly upheld a decision to cancel the visa of a Chinese student accused of child prostitution offences, a court has ruled.
The student had also been involved in a case in which a car hit a house causing a brick to fall on the occupant’s head.
The judgment has fuelled fresh criticism of tough migration laws introduced in December 2014 that allow a person’s visa to be cancelled if a bureaucrat decides they “might be” a risk to society.
The number of people in immigration detention for visa cancellations in February reached 933, or 53 per cent of those detained – more than so-called “unlawful” boat and plane arrivals.
In the month before the laws were introduced, visa cancellations involved just 16 per cent of detainees.
The Federal Circuit Court case involved a Chinese citizen, Yanhong Gong, who was in Australia to undertake postdoctoral research.
In September 2014 his car collided with the wall of a house, damaging it and causing a brick to fall on the head of the occupant.
Mr Gong told police someone else was driving the car, but he was too drunk to know who that person was. He was eventually fined $1500.
In October that year, Mr Gong was charged with several offences relating to child prostitution and child abuse material. He says he is innocent and has been granted bail.