I.R v Minister for Justice

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
JudgeMr Justice Cooke
Judgment Date26 Nov 2009
Neutral Citation[2009] IEHC 510
Docket Number[2007 No. 648 JR]

[2009] IEHC 510

THE HIGH COURT

[No. 648 J.R./2007]
R (I) v Min for Justice & Refugee Appeals Tribunal
[2009] IEHC 510
JUDICIAL REVIEW
BETWEEN/
I.R.
APPLICANT

AND

MINISTER FOR JUSTICE, EQUALITY AND LAW REFORM AND REFUGEE APPEALS TRIBUNAL
RESPONDENTS

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS (TRAFFICKING) ACT 2000 S5(3)(A)

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS (TRAFFICKING) ACT 2000 S5

RAIU v REFUGEE APPEALS TRIBUNAL & ORS UNREP FINLAY-GEOGHEGAN 26.2.2003 2006/50/10549

GLANCRE TEORANTA v BORD PLEANALA UNREP MACMENAMIN 13.7.2006 2006/26/5686 2006 IEHC 250

ARKLOW HOLIDAYS LTD v BORD PLEANALA & ORS UNREP CLARKE 11.1.2008 2008/2/340 2008 IEHC 2

REFUGEE ACT 1996 S13

S (DVT) v MIN FOR JUSTICE & ORS UNREP 30.11.2007 2007/54/11652 2007 IEHC 451

IMMIGRATION

Asylum

Appeal - Certificate for leave to appeal to Supreme Court - Point of law of exceptional public importance - Criteria to be applied by court - Whether point of law of exceptional importance raised - Whether jurisdiction to grant certificate must be exercised sparingly - Whether area of law involved uncertain - Requirements of exceptional public importance - Legal test for assessment of credibility - Decision of tribunal quashed for failing to consider all relevant evidence going to credibility as no mention was made in decision to documentary evidence produced which was directly pertinent to credibility - Whether any novelty or controversy in proposition that tribunal obliged to consider all relevant evidence available to it - Raiu v Refugee Appeals Tribunal (Unrep, HC, Finlay Geoghegan J, 26/2/2003); Glancré Teoranta v An Bord Pleanála [2006] IEHC 250, (Unrep, HC, MacMenamin J, 13/7/2006); Arklow Holidays Ltd v An Bord Pleanála [2008] IEHC 2, (Unrep, HC, Clarke J, 11/2/2008) and DVTS v Minister for Justice [2007] IEHC 451, (Unrep, HC, 30/11/2007) applied - Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act 2000 (No 29), s 5(3)(a) - Application for certificate refused (2007/648JR - Cooke J - 26/11/2009) [2009] IEHC 510

R (I) v Minister for Justice

Facts the High Court granted an order of certiorari of the second respondent's decision. The respondents applied under s. 5 (3) (a) of the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act 2000 for a certificate of leave to appeal to the Supreme Court on the basis that the Court's judgment involved a point of law of exceptional public importance and that it was desirable in the public interest that such an appeal be taken. The certificate for leave to appeal was on the following point of law: "that the High Court erred in holding that the proposition that the Refugee Appeals Tribunal was not obliged to mention in its decision every argument or piece of evidence advanced by an appellant before it, as long as the basis upon which it considered the application for asylum to be lacking in credibility was ascertained from the reasons given, was valid only when the arguments and evidence so advanced were ancillary to the matters upon which the substantive finding was based and could not by themselves have rendered the conclusion unsound or untenable if shown to be correct or proven."

Held by Mr. Justice Cooke in refusing to grant a certificate for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court that the principles to be applied on an application for a certificate for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court on a point of law of exceptional public importance included, inter alia, the following:

it was not enough that the case raised a point of law: it had to be one of exceptional importance;

the jurisdiction to grant a certificate had to be exercised sparingly;

the area of law involved had to be uncertain such that it was in the common good that the uncertainty be resolved for the benefit of future cases;

the uncertainty as to the point of law had to be genuine and not merely a difficulty in predicting the outcome of the proposed appeal or in appraising the strength of the appellant's arguments;

the point of law had to arise out of the court's decision and not merely out of some discussion at the hearing;

the requirements of exceptional public importance and the desirability of an appeal in the public interest were cumulative requirements.

There was no real uncertainty about the law as regards the approach to be adopted in the assessment of credibility where a claim was based partly on oral testimony and partly on supporting documentary evidence and the Court did not disagree with the respondent's submission that credibility in such cases had to be assessed "in the round". It was, however, the entirety of the proffered evidence that had to be assessed in that manner. As the Court indicated in its substantive judgment, it was a case which turned entirely on its special circumstances and the respondent's decision was quashed because, in the Court's view, the Tribunal had failed to consider "in the round" the entirety of the available evidence. There was no novelty or controversy in the proposition that a tribunal such as the Refugee Appeals Tribunal was obliged to consider all of the relevant evidence available to it. No novel proposition of law was contained in the judgment. It merely applied to the special circumstances of the case before it the general principles derived from the settled case law referred to in the first eleven paragraphs of the judgment.

Reporter: P.C.

1

Mr Justice Cooke delivered on the 26th day of November, 2009

2

1. On 24 th July, 2009, the Court gave judgment ("the judgment") on an application for judicial review by the above named applicant in which it quashed by order of certiorari a decision of the second named respondent dated 17 th April, 2007 ("the Contested Decision") which had rejected the applicant's appeal against a report and negative recommendation of the Refugee Applications Commissioner on his application for a declaration of refugee status. The respondents now apply under s. 5 (3) (a) of the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act 2000for a certificate of leave to appeal to the Supreme Court on the basis that the Courts judgment "involves a point of law of exceptional public importance" and that "it is desirable in the public interest" that such an appeal be taken.

3

2. As the Court pointed out in the judgment, the Contested Decision of the Tribunal turned entirely on the issue of the credibility of the personal history which the applicant had recounted as the basis of his claim to fear persecution if returned to Belarus. In effect, the Tribunal member did not believe his account of having been arrested, detained, charged, convicted and imprisoned for offences of distributing anti-political leaflets and of his having been severely beaten while in prison. In essence, the finding turned upon the Tribunal member's belief that the applicant lacked the knowledge and familiarity with the personnel and history of the Belarus Popular Front political party ("BPF") which the applicant claimed to have supported and in which he said he had been actively involved.

4

3. The Court quashed the Tribunal decision for one reason namely, that the Tribunal member had erred in failing to consider all of the relevant evidence going to credibility because no mention was made in its decision of and no regard was apparently had to, a number of pieces of documentary evidence which the applicant had produced and which appeared to the Court to be directly pertinent to his credibility. (See para. 24 of the judgment). These included purported police reports and court documents relating to his claimed arrest, trial and imprisonment. In the passage at para 30 of the judgment which is now the focus of the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
63 cases
  • M.I. (Pakistan) v The International Protection Appeals Tribunal
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 25 Junio 2019
    ...recollection of the evidence infected the assessment of credibility – see I.R. v MJELR & Refugee Appeals Tribunal [2009] IEHC 353, [2015] 4 I.R. 144 and R.A. v Refugee Appeals Tribunal [2017] IECA 297.’ This unfortunately is a tendentious characterisation. The difficulties with the a......
  • C (L R) & L (S J) v Refugee Appeals Tribunal and Others
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 22 Enero 2015
    ...decision of the Court as it involved issues that needed to be resolved at the earliest. The Court applied the test laid down in I.R. v Minister for Justice [2009] IEHC 510, wherein it was held that an appeal would lie only if there was an issue of extreme public importance, involving uncert......
  • O (S) and O (O) v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 28 Octubre 2010
    ...S5(3)(A) ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS (TRAFFICKING) ACT 2000 S5(2)(B) R (I) v MIN FOR JUSTICE & REFUGEE APPEALS TRIBUNAL UNREP COOKE 26.11.2009 2009 IEHC 510 MEADOWS v MIN FOR JUSTICE & ORS UNREP SUPREME 21.1.2010 2010 IESC 3 RYANAIR LTD v FLYNN & MCAULEY 2000 3 IR 240 2001 1 ILRM 283 20......
  • Luximon and Another v The Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 17 Junio 2015
    ...planning and environmental area and the asylum and immigration area. These were summarised by Cooke J. in I.R. v. Minister for Justice [2009] IEHC 510(‘ I.R. (No. 2)’), where he considered the principles established in Raiu v. Refugee Appeals Tribunal (Unreported, High Court, Finlay Geogheg......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT