M.E.O. (Nigeria) v The International Protection Appeals Tribunal ; U.O. (Nigeria) v The International Protection Appeals Tribunal No.2

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr. Justice Richard Humphreys
Judgment Date25 February 2019
Neutral Citation[2019] IEHC 146
Date25 February 2019
CourtHigh Court
Docket Number[2018 No. 364 J.R.] [2018 No. 296 J.R.]

[2019] IEHC 146

THE HIGH COURT

JUDICIAL REVIEW

Humphreys J.

[2018 No. 364 J.R.]

[2018 No. 296 J.R.]

BETWEEN
M.E.O. (NIGERIA)
APPLICANT
AND
THE INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION APPEALS TRIBUNAL, THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND EQUALITY, IRELAND

AND

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
RESPONDENTS
BETWEEN
U.O. (NIGERIA)
APPLICANT
AND
THE INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION APPEALS TRIBUNAL, THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND EQUALITY, IRELAND

AND

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
RESPONDENTS

(No. 2)

Subsidiary protection – Sexuality – Judicial review – Refusal – Application for leave to appeal

Facts: The applicants had been refused international protection by the IPAT and had applied for review of those refusals. In an earlier hearing ([2018] IEHC 782), the High Court had refused that application, and the applicant now sought leave to appeal on the standard of proof.

Held by Humphreys J that the applications for leave would be dismissed. The proposed question for review in respect of the standard of proof was without merit and would unfairly prejudice the respondents.

JUDGMENT of Mr. Justice Richard Humphreys delivered on the 25th day of February, 2018
1

In M.E.O. (Nigeria) v. International Appeals Tribunal (No. 1) [2018] IEHC 782 (Unapproved, High Court, 7th December, 2018) I rejected challenges to tribunal decisions refusing international protection to these two applicants. The applicants now seek leave to appeal and I have considered the law in that regard Glancré Teoranta v. An Bord Pleanála [2006] IEHC 250 (Unreported, MacMenamin J., 13th November, 2006), Arklow Holidays v. An Bord Pleanála [2008] IEHC 2, per Clarke J. (as he then was), I.R. v. Minister for Justice and Equality [2009] IEHC 510 [2015] 4 I.R. 144 per Cooke J., Raiu v. Refugee Appeals Tribunal (Unreported, High Court, 26th February, 2003) per Finlay Geoghegan J., and Callaghan v. An Bord Pleanála [2015] IEHC 493 (Unreported, High Court, 24th July, 2015) per Costello J. I have also discussed these criteria in a number of cases, including S.A. v. Minister for Justice and Equality (No. 2) [2016] IEHC 646 [2016] 11 JIC 1404 (Unreported, High Court, 14th November, 2016) (para. 2), and Y.Y. v. Minister for Justice and Equality (No. 2) [2017] IEHC 185 [2017] 3 JIC 2405 (Unreported, High Court, 24th March, 2017) (para. 72). I have received helpful submissions from Mr. Paul O'Shea B.L. for the applicants, and from Mr. David Conlan Smyth S.C. (with Ms. Elizabeth Cogan B.L.) in U.O. and Mr. Alex Finn B.L. in M.E.O. for the respondents.

Applicants” proposed question
2

Mr. O'Shea's proposed question of exceptional public importance is the same in both cases: ‘ Is the standard of proof to be applied in the assessment of past and present events of ‘balance of probabilities coupled, where appropriate with benefit of the doubt’ as found by O'Regan J. in O.N. v. Refugee Appeals Tribunal [2017] IEHC 13, the correct standard to be applied in assessing (a) and (sic) facts in international protection cases, and (b) whether an applicant is a member of a particular social group (here, a homosexual)?’ Mr. O'Shea has clarified that the reference to ‘ and facts’ should be ‘ the facts’. The bipartite structure of the question is puzzling in the sense that whether an applicant is a member of a particular social group is a fact in an international protection case and thus point (b) seems to be subsumed within point (a).

3

Ground 1 of the statement of grounds as pleaded in these cases contends that ‘in applying the standard of proof of the “balance of probabilities” the first-named respondent applied the incorrect standard of proof – both in relation to past events and in relation to the question of the likelihood of future persecution/serious harm. In relation to past events the correct approach is that set out in Karanakaran v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2000] 3 All ER 449. In relation to future persecution/serious harm the correct standard is that of a reasonable degree of likelihood that the applicant would be persecuted for convention reason/suffer serious harm.’

4

Much of this ground has fallen away. English caselaw does not give rise to grounds...

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