Senior General Counsel Dispute Resolution
Peter delivers high-level advocacy and advising services in a wide variety of matters, particularly in the areas of administrative law, migration law, protection of information, statutory interpretation, environmental law, and statutory and non-statutory claims by and against the Commonwealth.
He has acted for the Commonwealth in a number of high-profile Immigration and Border Protection cases, and appears frequently in courts and tribunals, including the High Court. He represented the Commonwealth and the former Acting Minister for Immigration as junior counsel with Ron Williams QC and the Solicitor-General in the High Court in an appeal challenging the decision of the Full Federal Court regarding damages for false imprisonment of a person by an officer of the Commonwealth.
Peter is the Director of AGS’s Perth office, where he is responsible for overseeing the running of the office, and plays a principal role in fostering strong relationships between AGS and our Western Australian clients. He is also a highly regarded presenter at AGS legal forums and events.
Peter’s most recent work includes advising/acting for the Commonwealth in:
- working as one of the team of 3 counsel, including Peter Hanks QC and Gary Livermore, who appeared for the Commonwealth (Customs and Defence) at the SIEV 221 coronial inquiry into the deaths of asylum seekers on a vessel off Christmas Island in December 2010. The Coroner concluded that there was no fault on the part of the Commonwealth, and the Coroner commended the actions of Defence personnel
- appearing as junior counsel with Richard Tracey QC in the Jia and White judicial review proceedings in the Federal Court and High Court challenging decisions made by the Minister for Immigration personally, and involving claims of actual bias on the part of the Minister based on comments which he had made in a radio interview about an AAT decision in relation to Mr Jia
- acting as counsel and junior counsel for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority in many claims by the owners of foreign fishing vessels seized under the Fisheries Management Act 1991 (Cth) for illegally fishing in Australian waters.
- appearing as counsel for the Minister for Home Affairs in 2 appeals before the Full Court of the Federal Court in which the appellants claimed that the primary judge should have found that the Immigration Assessment Authority applied too narrow a test as to whether the appellants were able to safely relocate within Afghanistan to avoid the real chance of serious harm which the Authority found that they faced if they returned and lived in their home area, and which also raised the proper construction and application of s 5J(1)(c) of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).
- being briefed as counsel for the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs in an application to the Federal Court challenging a decision made by the Minister personally refusing to revoke the mandatory cancellation of the applicant’s visa.
Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Jurisprudence University of Western Australia, 1976
Peter was awarded the AGS Australia Day Award for excellence in the delivery of advocacy services in 2003.