Passport Not Re-issued


King v Minister for Foreign Affairs [2006] AATA 636 (19.7.06), the Minister refused to re-issue a passport to an Australian citizen because ‘pursuant to s.14(1)(a)(v) of the Australian Passports Act 2005,[it was] “suspected on reasonable grounds” that Mr King, if he held a valid Australian passport, would be likely to engage in conduct that might constitute an indictable offence against a law of the Commonwealth contrary to the Crimes Act 1914, the offence being child sex tourism offences’.


The AAT noted:

Mr K has had one conviction for an assault upon a child in 1990, served periodic detention for that offence, and has been before the Courts on several other matters. Most recently, on his return from the Philippines in 2004, he pleaded guilty to the importation of child pornography. He had been charged with child sex tourism offences which were subsequently withdrawn due to the fact the Crown was unable to satisfactorily prove the ages of the young girls involved.


There is no absolute right to a passport as s. 14 of the Passport Act shows:

  1. 14 Reasons relating to potential for harmful conduct
    (1) If a competent authority suspects on reasonable grounds that:
    (a) if an Australian passport were issued to a person, the person would be likely to engage in conduct that:

    (v) might constitute an indictable offence against a law of the Commonwealth, being an offence specified in a Minister’s determination; and
    (b) the person should be refused an Australian passport in order to prevent the person from engaging in the conduct;
    the competent authority may make a refusal/cancellation request in relation to the person.

The AAT concluded:

The facts and history speak clearly in Mr King’s case. There is a factual basis for the reasonable suspicion that he is likely to commit further offences against under-age girls in the future. I find that there is nothing remote, fanciful or merely theoretical about such suspicion.

Barbara Davidson