Proceedings of the Appeals Tribunal should be regulated to create a standard procedure for its operation.
The appeals process should be open to any “individual” who makes an application to the Authority and who wishes to question the decision that the Authority made and not an “enrolled individual” as is presently in the Bill.
These are examples of what the NIDS Bill allows. These examples may not necessarily reflect the intention of the Bill, but are possible based on how the Bill was worded when it was tabled in 2020.
Under the present Bill, someone who is not already enrolled in NIDS would not be able to appeal the decision made against them by the Tribunal. This restricts who can appeal a decision of the Tribunal, and makes it impossible for a new applicant to challenge a decision to deny them an ID card. That is especially concerning for anyone who may have more difficulty proving their legal identity — a problem NIDS is supposed to help solve.
A 28-day window to make an appeal is too short, especially given the slow pace at which government agencies operate. Depending on the nature of the decision the appellant might need to do some back and forth with government agencies before embarking on the formal appeals process.
Further, each Appeal Tribunal panel is empowered to regulate its own procedures and processes. This can create uncertainty in its operations and negatively impact the right to due process under the law. The Tribunal should not be given the power to modify its own procedural rules.
Watch this space! We will provide an update once the Joint Select Committee has made a decision on this issue.
Last updated 2021-05-27
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