P.N.S. (Cameroon) v The International Protection Appeals Tribunal

JudgeMr. Justice Richard Humphreys
Judgment Date22 March 2019
Neutral Citation[2019] IEHC 179
Docket Number[2018 No. 413 J.R.]
CourtHigh Court
Date22 March 2019

[2019] IEHC 179



Humphreys J.

[2018 No. 413 J.R.]




International protection – Order of certiorari – Mootness – Applicant seeking international protection – Whether the applicant’s claim was moot

Facts: The applicant applied to the High Court seeking an order of certiorari quashing the decision of the first respondent, the International Protection Appeals Tribunal, of 23rd April, 2018, refusing permission to make a reapplication for international protection under s. 22 of the International Protection Act 2015. Humphreys J held that the applicant’s claim, viewed in the most favourable way possible, could be considered as raising two issues: (i) an alleged risk to the applicant by being compulsorily returned as a failed asylum seeker; and (ii) an alleged risk to the applicant by being present in the country of origin as a person who originally left without permission.

Held by Humphreys J that, insofar as the claim related to the applicant’s forced return as a failed asylum seeker, that seemed to be moot because that was not going to happen as matters stood. Insofar as the claim that he emigrated illegally so he could be at risk even if he went on holidays to Cameroon, Humphreys J held that the applicant had not in fact established as a matter of evidence either to the decision-maker or to the court that he emigrated illegally, and, therefore, the evidential basis for that claim was absent.

Humphreys J held that the proceedings would be dismissed.

Proceedings dismissed.

JUDGMENT of Mr. Justice Richard Humphreys delivered on the 22nd day of March, 2019

The applicant is a national of Cameroon who was granted a passport from that country on 11th April, 2001, valid until 10th April, 2006. The fragment of the passport that has been exhibited shows extensive travel between Cameroon and Nigeria. In his later asylum claim here, he was to lyingly claim that he had never travelled outside his country of origin (question 31a). He left blank the section regarding his passport and non-Irish visas. The asylum claim asserts that he left Cameroon on 23rd January, 2006. The applicant has instructed his lawyers that he came on a false passport, which was taken back by a people-smuggler, and it is suggested that this explains why there is no exit visa from Cameroon shown on the few fragmentary pages of his passport that have been put before the court. The Refugee Appeals Tribunal, in rejecting the asylum claim, held that the applicant had not provided a full and true explanation of how he travelled and how he arrived in Ireland.


Going back to January, 2006, the applicant sought asylum on the basis of fear of persecution on grounds related to religion. He came to Ireland at a time when his Cameroonian passport was in force. His claim was rejected at first instance. He appealed to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal and that appeal was refused in August, 2006. A formal decision refusing refugee status was made by the Minister in November, 2006.


On 30th April, 2006, the applicant sought subsidiary protection. That was refused in June, 2010. He impugned that refusal in his first set of judicial review proceedings [2017 No. 767 J.R.] but that aspect of the claim was not pursued. The applicant was notified of the issuing of a deportation order in June, 2010. On 30th June, 2011, he applied to revoke the order under s. 3(11) of the Immigration Act 1999. In February, 2012, he was offered the option of voluntarily returning to Cameroon without an escort, with his flight to be paid for by the Minister.


In 2013, his Cameroonian passport was renewed for a five-year period and I am told that he instructed his lawyers that it was renewed by his mother on his behalf. On 19th August, 2017, he applied for permission to re-enter the protection process under s. 22 of the International Protection Act 2015. That was refused by the International Protection Office on 24th November, 2017. The applicant appealed that refusal to the tribunal on 4th December, 2017, and that appeal was rejected on 23rd April, 2018.


In the first set of judicial review proceedings to which I have referred, the applicant sought a declaration that his deportation prior to the determination of the s. 22 application and prior to the determination of a separate application he had made to the Minister based on the Zambrano case ( Case C-34/09 Gerardo Ruiz-Zambrano v. Office national de l'emploi) would be unlawful. That relief was refused in P.N.S. (Cameroon) v. Minister for Justice and Equality (No. 1) [2018] IEHC 504 [2018] 7 JIC 1607 (Unreported, High Court, 16th July, 2018). Leave to appeal was refused in P.N.S. (Cameroon) v. Minister for Justice and Equality (No. 2) [2018] IEHC 508 [2018] 7 JIC 2709 (Unreported, High Court, 27th July, 2018), by which point the s. 3(11) application had been effectively granted because the deportation order had been revoked on 6th July, 2018. That rendered moot the question of whether the applicant could not be deported pending the outcome of his applications. The applicant sought leave to appeal from the Supreme Court, and in its determination, S. v. Minister for Justice and Equality [2018] IESCDET 160, that court adjourned the matter to await the outcome of a separate case, M. v. Minister for Justice and Equality [2018] IESCDET 159. The revocation of the deportation order was essentially premised on the acceptance of the applicant's Zambrano application for permission to remain as the parent of an Irish citizen child.


In the present proceedings, the applicant seeks an order of certiorari quashing the tribunal's decision of 23rd April, 2018, refusing permission to make a reapplication for international protection under s. 22 of the 2015 Act. I have received helpful submissions from Mr. Michael Conlon S.C. (with Mr. Paul O'Shea B.L.) for the applicant and from Ms. Emily Farrell B.L. for the respondents.

Applicant's immigration history

The applicant, who did not attend the hearing, did not exhibit a full version of his Cameroonian passport. In a sense, that is a striking omission given that his claim in relation to a fear of prosecution is based on the absence of an exit visa and one would have thought that there was an onus on the applicant to positively establish that he did not have such a visa. Instead, the applicant has only exhibited a couple of pages of the passport, which appear to relate to the years 2001 and 2002. I gave the parties an opportunity to agree to have the applicant...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 cases

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