Bujari v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMs. Justice Finlay Geoghegan
Judgment Date07 May 2003
Neutral Citation[2003] IEHC 18
Docket Number[No. 54 J.R./2002]
CourtHigh Court
Date07 May 2003

[2003] IEHC 18

THE HIGH COURT

[No. 54 J.R./2002]
BUJARI v. MIN FOR JUSTICE & REFUGEE APPEALS TRIBUNAL
IN THE MATTER OF THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS (TRAFFICKING ACT) 2000

BETWEEN

LEONARD BUJARI
APPLICANT

AND

THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE, EQUALITY AND LAW REFORM AND DES ZAIDEN, MEMBER OF THE REFUGEE APPEALS TRIBUNAL
RESPONDENTS

Citations:

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS (TRAFFICKING) ACT 2000 S5

UNHCR HANDBOOK ON PROCEDURES AND CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING REFUGEE STATUS 1992

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE STATUS OF REFUGEES & STATELESS PERSONS 1951

PROTOCOL ON THE STATUS OF REFUGEES 1967

MCNAMARA V AN BORD PLEANALA 1995 2 ILRM 125

IN THE MATTER OF ART 26 OF THE CONSTITUTION & S5 & S10 OF THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS (TRAFFICKING) BILL 1999 2000 2 IR 360

Synopsis:

IMMIGRATION

Asylum

Judicial review - Leave - Time limits - Certiorari - Whether Tribunal under obligation as matter of fair procedures to consider and assess applicant's explanation for change history - Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act, 2000 section 5 (2002/54JR - Finlay-Geoghegan J - 7/5/2003)

Bujari v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform

The applicant sought leave to apply for judicial review of the refusal by the Refugee Appeals Tribunal to grant refugee status. The application was outside the 14 day time limit. The applicant contended that the Appeals Tribunal was obliged in assessing the credibility of the applicant’s story and in particular the impact of the change in a material respect between what was said at the initial stages and at the appeal hearing to have regard to and assess the explanation given by the applicant for such change and that the Tribunal had failed to do that.

Held by Finlay Geoghegan J. in granting leave to apply for judicial review that the Tribunal was under an obligation as a matter of fair procedures in the assessment of the applicant’s claim to consider and assess the explanation given for the change in his story.

JUDGMENT of
Ms. Justice Finlay Geoghegan
1

delivered the 7th day of May 2003.

2

This is an application for leave to issue judicial review seeking primarily an order ofcertiorari of the decision of the second named proposed respondent of the 26th April, 2002, recommending a refusal of the appeal of the applicant against a recommendation of the Refugee Application's Commissioner recommending that his claim for refugee status be refused. The decision is stated to have been received by the applicant on 7th June, 2002. The notice of motion seeking leave was instituted on the 15thJuly, 2002 and therefore outside of the fourteen day time limit provided for in s. 5 of the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act,2000. The application for the extension of time is grounded upon the affidavit of Maureen Connolly, a legal executive of Colgan and Company, Solicitors who explained that she was the person in the firm who was present during the conduct of the appeal hearing. She explains that she was unable to deal in the period after the 7th June, with the applicant's position and/or consider the possibility of instituting judicial review proceedings by reason of a day to day hospitalisation as a result of a severe lumbar disc prolapse and certified that on the basis of the affidavit Ms. Connolly that this is a case in which an extension of time should be granted for the period up to and including 15th July, 2002.

3

The applicant arrived in the State in August, 1999, from Kosovo. He applied for refugee status. He completed the standard application form in which he gave as the reasons for his application:

"I am looking for refuge here because of the situation in Kosovo, because of the war, because of the unsafety, for economic reasons, and most importantly because I have lost my family, and by losing my family I have lost half of my life, and this is the main reason that I have left Kosovo and am looking for asylum in Ireland."

4

The applicant was subsequently interviewed by an official of the Refugee Applications Commissioner. In the course of that interview he explained that he was of Kosovon/Albanian nationality and a Catholic as were his father and mother; that he lived in a village where there were only a few Catholic families; the majority were Muslim. He also gave out his main reason for leaving Kosovo as being that "I lost my whole family". He described the killing of his parents on the 6th July, 1999, as it had been recounted to him by neighbours. He did not see it himself. When asked who were the men who killed his parents he replied

"In the village there were only a few Catholic families. The majority were Muslim and we really did not get on well with the rest of the village. We were always put down because we were Catholics. Because we were Catholic we were looked upon as being pro Serb. Serbia always looked on Catholics with a better eye than they did the Muslims. As a result of this my father had problems with people from the village. As a result of this and from what the neighbours have told me I have formed an opinion that my parents were killed by Kosovans and not Serbs. The majority of Kosovans who are ethnic Albanians are Muslim, about 80%/90% are Muslim. My opinion is that it was one from the village who killed my parents and as a result of what happened to my...

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