M.H. (Pakistan) v The International Protection Appeals Tribunal

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
JudgeMr. Justice Richard Humphreys
Judgment Date31 July 2020
Neutral Citation[2020] IEHC 364
Date31 July 2020
Docket Number[2019 No. 271 JR]
BETWEEN
M.H. (PAKISTAN)
APPLICANT
AND
THE INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION APPEALS TRIBUNAL, THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND EQUALITY, IRELAND

AND

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
RESPONDENTS

[2020] IEHC 364

Richard Humphreys J.

[2019 No. 271 JR]

THE HIGH COURT

JUDICIAL REVIEW

Judicial review – Deportation – Private and family life – Applicant seeking to challenge a deportation order and the associated decision-making process – Whether there was an unlawful consideration of private and family life

Facts: The applicant was a Pakistani national who entered the UK on a passport with a false date of birth. He violated the terms of his UK visitor’s visa by overstaying, worked in the UK illegally and was then arrested for possession of a false passport. He absconded from his accommodation centre and evaded UK reporting requirements. He then entered the State without permission and claimed asylum for the first time eight years after leaving his home country, going on to tell outright falsehoods to the Irish protection authorities in the course of an evasive interview. He never provided any direct evidence of the core element of his claim. His protection claim was rejected at all stages and the rejection was unchallenged. After judicial review proceedings were instituted, he failed to present to GNIB as required. He challenged the deportation order and the associated decision-making process. The grounds pleaded were as follows: 1(i) – an alleged unlawful consideration of private and family life; 1(ii) – an alleged failure to consider the applicant’s medical condition; 1(iii) and (iv) – alleged errors in relation to art. 8 of the ECHR; 2 – an alleged breach of audi alteram partem; 3(i) – an alleged failure to have regard to relevant personal information; 3(ii) – an alleged failure to consider the applicant’s account of assault and evidence of PTSD; 3(iii) – an alleged erroneous consideration of reliance on testimony of the applicant; and 3(iv) – country of origin information.

Held by the High Court (Humphreys J) that: 1(i) – no illegality as suggested had been demonstrated; 1(ii) – no error of law had been demonstrated; 1(iii) – no error had been demonstrated; 1(iv) – the applicant was at all times an unsettled migrant, and deportation of unsettled migrants breaches art. 8 only in exceptional circumstances; 2 – the applicant was on notice of the information from the UK authorities, it was put to him in interview and appeared in the IPO decision, and he chose not to contest it; 3(i) – the decision was presumed valid and was presumed to have considered all relevant material and the applicant had not displaced those presumptions; 3(ii) – the fact that the second respondent, the Minister for Justice and Equality, did not discuss the matter narratively in a way dictated by the applicant was not the same as not considering relevant matters; 3(iii) – where a report depends significantly on subjective accounts from an applicant then that is a major qualification on the value of the report; and 3(iv) – the applicant seemed attached to the misunderstanding that only what is quoted or referred to in a decision has been considered, nor is there any obligation on a decision-maker to “address” the applicant’s points in the sense of narratively discussing them.

Humphreys J held that the application would be dismissed.

Application dismissed.

JUDGMENT of Mr. Justice Richard Humphreys delivered on the 31 st day of July, 2020
1

Lady Hale in R. (Cart) v. Upper Tribunal [2011] UKSC 28, [2012] 1 AC 663, at para. 47, said that “[i]t is not difficult to dress up an argument as a point of law when in truth it is no more than an attack upon … factual conclusions”. Just how easy that is is demonstrated by the present application.

2

The applicant is a Pakistani national who entered the UK on a passport with a false date of birth. He violated the terms of his UK visitor's visa by overstaying, worked in the UK illegally and was then arrested for possession of a false passport. He absconded from his accommodation centre and evaded UK reporting requirements. He then entered the State without permission and claimed asylum for the first time eight years after leaving his home country, going on to tell outright falsehoods to the Irish protection authorities in the course of an evasive interview. He never provided any direct evidence of the core element of his claim. His protection claim was rejected at all stages and the rejection is unchallenged. After the present judicial review proceedings were instituted, he failed to present to GNIB as required. He now challenges the deportation order and the associated decision-making process. The challenge re-heats points rejected many times before and is largely constituted by a disagreement with the factual conclusions of the decision-maker camouflaged in legalese.

Facts
3

The applicant claims a fear of persecution arising from the alleged murder of his uncle and cousins in Pakistan in 2005. Later that year he moved to Rawalpindi and worked in a hotel. He claims that in 2007 he was located and accosted by individuals involved in the alleged murders.

4

He then came to the UK on a visitor's visa on the basis of a passport in his own name, but with an incorrect date of birth. The applicant's brother also resides in the UK. The applicant overstayed his visitor's visa, but never applied for international protection in that jurisdiction.

5

He worked illegally and was arrested in possession of a false British passport on 15th May, 2015 by Thames Valley and Surrey arrest team. He was then allowed to stay in the UK for the purposes of applying for asylum (which he did not pursue) and was informed of a requirement to report to the Eaton House Reporting Centre. He failed to report or to seek asylum, but instead absconded and came to the State, arriving on 26th May, 2015.

6

At the time of his interview under s. 8 of the Refugee Act 1996 on 9th June, 2015 he was resident in Balseskin Refugee Centre in Finglas. He was interviewed under s. 11 of the 1996 Act in November, 2015 and at that stage had an address in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

7

On 31st March, 2016 his application for refugee status was refused. His narrative was considered to lack credibility. He appealed on 5th April, 2016 and following the commencement of the International Protection Act 2015 he applied for protection on 25th April, 2017. When interviewed under s. 35 of the 2015 Act on 6th December, 2017, he was asked “Where did you work?” in response to which he said “I did not work. My brother satisfied all my financial needs” (Question 17.11). When the fact that the UK authorities told the Irish authorities that he was working illegally when arrested was put to him, his response to the next question was immediately contradictory: “It was my first week” (Question 17.12). He admitted (Question 17.17) to using false identification papers saying that “An agent provided a fake Romanian ID card and I got arrested. I did not know it was a British passport as I am illiterate.” When he was asked, “7s the fact you were arrested by the UK police the real reason why you left the UK and travelled to Ireland?,” he replied “I could not apply for asylum there” (Question 17.19). When asked why not he said “Because I was scared I would be sent back to my country” (Question 17.20).

8

He was asked why he was unable to provide any evidence of the death of his uncle and cousins, such as death certificates. At Question 15.16 he was asked, “Do you have any proof of your uncle and cousins’ deaths?” The answer was “I made a very strong effort to obtain the information but unfortunately my dad has now died and my younger brother is also facing the fears.” The next question was “I find it difficult to understand that you cannot provide proof of the deaths of your uncle and his sons. You still have family living in your home area. Can you explain why you are not able to supply such proof?” The answer was, “I do not want to put anyone in trouble. My dad passed away yesterday and I did not cancel the interview. I can speak to my brother to make an effort to get proof (Question 20.22).

9

He was given 14 days to produce any evidence, which as noted above he failed to do. He was informed that his protection claim had been refused on 6th April, 2018 and he appealed to the tribunal on 26th April, 2018. The tribunal dismissed that appeal on 4th October, 2018.

10

The applicant's solicitors then sought review of the refusal of permission to remain by letter dated 31st October, 2018. That letter contains the surprising suggestion that “It is submitted that for periods in excess of 6 months duration in the State should be regarded as evidence that would lead to the granting of Leave to Remain in the State”. It then went on to plead for further time to produce evidence of the alleged deaths of his alleged uncle and alleged cousins, which up to that point he had failed to provide.

11

The Minister made a decision on the review application of 14th December, 2018, rejecting it. The applicant had by that point continued to fail to provide any evidence or supporting documentation in respect of the alleged deaths of the alleged relatives. A deportation order was then made on 1st March, 2019.

12

The original statement of grounds was filed on 9th May, 2019. The applicant was granted leave to apply for judicial review on 27th May, 2019. The reliefs were later amended, and as amended the primary reliefs are certiorari of the permission to remain review decision of 5th February, 2019, certiorari of what is described as a s. 50 decision of 5th February, 2019, and certiorari of a deportation order of 1st March, 2019.

13

In July, 2019 the court was informed that the applicant had not presented to GNIB. He was given until 12th August, 2019 to present himself. On 7th October, 2019 his counsel endeavoured to explain to the court that the applicant wished to...

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2 cases
  • R v Minister for Justice and Equality
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 15 March 2022
    ...may be displaced on the basis of factors in the case ( G.K. v. Minister for Justice [2002] 2 I.R. 418 & MH (Pakistan) v. IPAT & Anor [2020] IEHC 364) such as, for example, where a reason given is not reconcilable with the material without further explanation. These are not such cases. Looki......
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    ...of the within proceedings, citing Humphreys J. at para. 15 of MH (Pakistan) v The International Protection Appeals Tribunal & Ors [2020] IEHC 364: i. There is a presumption of validity for administrative decisions as per Finlay P. in ( In re Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Unreported, High Cour......

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