Q. -v- Refugee Applications Commissioner & MJELR, [2009] IEHC 218 (2009)

Docket Number:2007 1431 JR
Party Name:Q., Refugee Applications Commissioner & MJELR
Judge:Cooke J.
 
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THE HIGH COURT 2007 1431 JR

BETWEEN/

N. X. Q.APPLICANTAND

REFUGEE APPLICATIONS COMMISSIONER

AND MINISTER FOR JUSTICE, EQUALITY AND LAW REFORM RESPONDENTSJUDGMENT of Mr. Justice Cooke delivered on the 6th day of May, 2009

  1. By an originating notice of motion dated 25th October, 2007 issued from the Central Office of the High Court on 1st November, 2007, the above first named applicant commenced the present application for leave to seek judicial review by way of, inter alia, orders of certiorari to quash the Report and Recommendation made under s. 13 of the Refugee Act 1996 by the first named respondent, (the "Commissioner"), on 29th October, 2004 and the decision of the second named respondent, (the "Tribunal") given on appeal against that report on 18th March, 2005.

  2. The first named applicant is a national of Somalia who arrived in the State in September, 2003 and applied for asylum on the 14th of that month. She included in her application her daughter, I.C.A. and her nephew C.X.C.. For the sake of simplicity I will refer to the three applicant parties as, respectively, "the applicant", the "applicant's daughter" and the "applicant's nephew". In the section 13 Report of 29th October, 2004 the Commissioner found that; "Due to the credibility issues outlined in this report the applicant has failed to demonstrate a well founded fear and forward looking fear of persecution in Somalia for herself and the minors named in this application".

  3. The applicant's nephew was born on 10th October, 1986 and thus attained the age of 18 years on 10th October 2004, that is, shortly before the date of the Commissioner's section 13 Report and after the two interviews held on 8th July, and 24th September 2004, on which the Report was based. The applicant's daughter was stated in the original asylum application to have been born on 11th March, 1988 and so would have reached 18 years on 11th March, 2006. However, following the rejection of the applicant's joint application for asylum in the State, the applicant's daughter went to the United Kingdom where she applied for asylum under a different name, giving her date of birth as 31st December, 1988. She was returned to this country by the United Kingdom authorities on 25th October, 2007, but if that is her correct date of birth, she attained the age of 18 on 31st December, 2006.

  4. These dates of 18th birthdays are relevant to this application because on 5th March, 2009 the applicant brought a motion seeking an order "to be joined in the proceedings by her daughter and nephew" and for liberty to amend the statement of grounds. In effect, these amendments sought to include, by way of proposed reliefs, orders of certiorari to quash the same decisions of the Commissioner and the Tribunal in so far as they related to the daughter and nephew and to add two new grounds as grounds numbers 26 and 27. These grounds are to the effect that the two decisions in question were unlawful because they purported to apply to the applicant's nephew as a dependant of the applicant when he was over 18 years at the time of the making of each of the decisions.

  5. Having heard submissions on this initial motion the court expressed the view that the joinder of the additional parties was probably unnecessary in practical terms because, if the grounds originally advanced and which were to be adopted and relied upon by the two applicants were well founded, the contested decision of the Tribunal would be quashed with the result that there would be no basis upon which the Minister could refuse a declaration of refugee status or make a deportation order against any one of the three persons included in the asylum application, until a new decision by the Tribunal was made. Nevertheless, on the basis that all three had been parties to the asylum application and had been covered by the two contested decisions; and because no new case of any substance was proposed to be advanced which was not already raised in the original application, the Court decided to grant the application to join the additional parties in the present proceedings. In the sense of Order 15 of the Rules of the Superior Courts, the three applicants seek to assert the same rights to relief arising out of the same circumstances and as against the same contested decisions, such that the issues can be more effectively dealt with in the single proceeding already commenced and ready for hearing. The court considered that the two new grounds, numbers 26 and 27, were unlikely to constitute substantial grounds for the grant of relief in themselves given that the mere fact that the applicant's nephew had reached the age of...

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