K.C.C. v Minister for Justice

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr. Justice McGovern
Judgment Date02 March 2007
Neutral Citation[2007] IEHC 176
CourtHigh Court
Docket Number[2006 No. 201 JR]
Date02 March 2007

[2007] IEHC 176

THE HIGH COURT

[No. 201 JR/2006]
C (KC) v MIN FOR JUSTICE
JUDICIAL REVIEW
IN THE MATTER OF THE REFUGEE ACT 1996, THE IMMIGRATION ACT, 1999
AND SECTION 5 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS (TRAFFICKING) ACT, 2000

BETWEEN

K. C. C.
APPLICANT

AND

THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE, EQUALITY AND LAW REFORM
RESPONDENT

REFUGEE ACT 1996

IMMIGRATION ACT 1999

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS (TRAFFICKING) ACT 2000 S5

IMMIGRATION ACT 1999 S17(7)

ITAIRE v MIN FOR JUSTICE UNREP MACMENAMIN 5.5.2006 2006 IEHC 136

S (E M) v MIN FOR JUSTICE UNREP CLARKE 21.12.2006 2006/45/10370

REFUGEE ACT 1996 PREAMBLE

CONVENTION ON THE STATUS OF REFUGEES & STATELESS PERSONS 1951 (GENEVA CONVENTION)

SINGH v SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT UNREP CA STEWART-SMITH 8.12.1995 (UK)

O'KEEFE v BORD PLEANALA 1993 1 IR 39

R v SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT, EX-PARTE ONIBIYO 1996 2 AER 901

1

JUDGMENT of Mr. Justice McGovern delivered on the 2nd day of March, 2007

2

This judgment is circulated in redacted form to avoid identification of the parties

3

On the 24th July, 2006 the applicant was given leave to apply for judicial review of a decision made by the respondent on the grounds set out in the order of Finlay Geoghegan J.

4

The applicant is a national of C. who arrived in Ireland and made an application for declaration of refugee status on the 24th November, 2003. The applicant stated that he fears persecution in C. by reason of his political opinion and the fact that he is a member of the SCNC which is considered to be a secessionist movement. The SCNC advances the rights of English speaking people in C. and seeks independence and autonomy. The applicant alleges that the rules and regime in C. engages in targeting, harassment, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention and denial of political rights and rights of association and assembly to members of SCNC and other groups. The applicant claims that his uncle who was a member of another opposition group, the SDF, was killed by the regime in 1992.

5

The applicant attended for interview with the Refugee Applications Commissioner (RAC) and submitted documentation. The RAC recommended that he not be declared to be a refugee and the applicant appealed to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal (RAT). It was accepted that the applicant's former legal advisers failed to produce and submit proper objective country of origin information to the tribunal in support of his claim. At page 7 of the decision the RAT states "no country of origin information was submitted on behalf of the applicant." It seems that a section 13 report was subsequently re-submitted and this included some country of origin information which indicated that there had been some persecution of SCNC activists but that the risk of persecution depended on the nature of the activities in which the activists where engaged. Such information as was available suggested that while there had been persecution prior to 2001 that by that the SCNC activists were no longer in prison and there was no longer wide-spread persecution.

6

The applicant's appeal proceeded before the RAT who affirmed the recommendation of the RAC to refuse his appeal. The applicant then made an application to the respondent pursuant to s. 17(7) of the 1999 Act seeking the consent of the Minister to make a further application for a declaration under the Act on the grounds that there was fresh country of origin information which included objective reports from reputable sources outlining the targeting and arrest and ill treatment of SCNC supporters and human rights oppression of people in a similar situation to the applicant. This information included up to date reports which post dated the decision made in the original application for asylum and which, the applicant maintains, demonstrated a heightened and current level of ill treatment of SCNC members and supporters. He says that this material could not possibly have been submitted previously. He also referred to earlier country of origin reports which though accessible to his former legal advisors was not furnished to the RAC or the RAT.

7

By the letter of the 6th February, 2006 the respondent informed the applicant's solicitor of the refusal to give his consent pursuant to s. 17(7) of the Refugee Act, 1996. The letter refers to the documents submitted by the applicant and states " these documents have been examined as have the original case made by your client to the Refugee Applications Commissioner and the findings of the Refugee Applications Commissioner. Additionally, an examination has been made of the case made in Notice of Appeal (including Grounds of Appeal) submitted to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal and the findings of the Tribunal. It has been decided that the new information adduced on your client's behalf does not significantly add to the likelihood of your client qualifying for asylum on the totality of the evidence already available and considered. As a result, it has been decided to refuse your request on your client's behalf." The letter went on to assure the applicant's solicitors that the documents which had been furnished would be added to the applicant's file in the event that consideration had to be given to any s. 3 assessment being carried out in respect of the applicant.

8

The hearing of this judicial review application took place with another judicial review application under the Asylum legislation, namely the case of Chris Onos Itaire bearing High Court record number 2005 No. 887 JR. The two cases were run in tandem because similar issues arose on the powers of the Minister to refuse consent to a further application under s. 17(7) of the Act. A more detailed analysis of the powers of the Minister under s. 17(7) can be found in my judgment in the Itaire case.

9

The preamble to the Refugee Act, 1996 describes it, inter alia, as "AN ACT TO GIVE EFFECT TO THE CONVENTION...

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3 cases
  • L (R O) & S (L) v Min for Justice & AG
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 5 March 2009
    ...I (CO) v MIN FOR JUSTICE UNREP MCGOVERN 2.3.2007 2007/29/5917 2007 IEHC 180 C (KC) v MIN FOR JUSTICE UNREP MCGOVERN 2.3.2007 2007/8/1468 2007 IEHC 176 IRISH TRUST BANK LTD v CENTRAL BANK OF IRELAND 1976-7 ILRM 50 N (FR) & ORS v MIN FOR JUSTICE & ORS UNREP CHARLETON 24.4.2008 2008 IEHC 107 O......
  • A. (A.) v Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform
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    • High Court
    • 28 October 2009
    ...Onibiyo [1996] 2 WLR 490, [1996] 2 All ER 901; COI v Minister for Justice [2007] IEHC 180, [2008] 1 IR 208; KCC v Minister for Justice [2007] IEHC 176, [2008] 1 IR 219; Ladd v Marshall [1954] 1 WLR 1489, [1954] 3 All ER 745; Singh v Secretary of State for the Home Department(Unrep, HL, 8/12......
  • C.O.I. v Minister for Justice
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 2 March 2007
    ...v SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT EX PARTE ONIBIYO 1996 2 AER 901 1996 QB 768 C (KC) v MIN FOR JUSTICE UNREP MCGOVERN 2.3.2007 2007 IEHC 176 O'KEEFFE v BORD PLEANALA 1993 1 IR 63 1992 ILRM 237 1991 5 1137 UNHCR HANDBOOK ON PROCEDURES AND CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING REFUGEE STATUS 1......
1 books & journal articles
  • 'Anxious Scrutiny' in the Irish Courts: Too Little, Too Late?
    • Ireland
    • Hibernian Law Journal No. 8-2008, January 2008
    • 1 January 2008
    ...of the O’Keefe reasonableness test and the anxious scrutiny test. 51 [2007] 2 ILRM 471 at p 476 52 [2007] 2 ILRM 471 at p 480 53 [2007] IEHC 176 (High Court, Unreported, 2 March 2007). O'Connell:Layout 1 28/05/2009 15:55 Page 86 86 PAUL O’CONNELL A similar approach was also adopted by Clark......

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