T. -v- MJELR, [2008] IEHC 361 (2008)

Docket Number:2007 1621 JR
Party Name:T., MJELR
Judge:Hedigan J.

THE HIGH COURT2007 No. 1621 JRBETWEENP. O. T.APPLICANTANDTHE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE, EQUALITY AND LAW REFORMRESPONDENTJUDGMENT of Mr. Justice Hedigan delivered on the 19th day of November, 20081. This is an application for judicial review of the decision of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform ("the Minister"), dated 29th August, 2007, to refuse to grant permission to the applicant for members of his family to enter and reside in the State. The applicant is seeking an order of certiorari in respect of the Minister's decision and a declaration that the said decision is unlawful.Background2. The applicant, who is a national of Ghana, arrived in the State on 25th September, 2001 and was granted refugee status on 26th March, 2003. Throughout his asylum application, he stated that he was married to M.O. and had three children: H. (born in 1991), Ma. (born in 1987), and G. (born in 1985).3. In June, 2003, the applicant made an application for visas for M., H., Ma., G. and for a fourth child, F. (born in 1988), stating that the intended purpose of the visas was family reunification. With a view to corroborating his relationship with his wife and children, he submitted a marriage certificate, birth certificates, passports and letters from the children's schools. The respondent points out that in the visa application, the applicant stated that H. was born in 1992, whereas he had previously stated that she was born in 1991, but I do not think that anything turns on this in the present case. Perhaps more noteworthy is that by the time the visa application was made, G. was no longer under 18 years of age.4. By letter dated 7th July, 2003, the Minister caused the visa applications to be referred to the Refugee Applications Commissioner (RAC), in compliance with section 18(1) of the Refugee Act 1996. The RAC provided the applicant with a questionnaire on 9th July, 2003, which he duly completed, thereby officially applying for permission for his family members to enter and reside in the State (i.e. family reunification). On 10th November, 2003, the RAC submitted a report to the Minister, in compliance with s. 18(2) of the Act of 1996. The report noted that the applicant had submitted original documentation in respect of his marriage and his relationship with his children. It also noted that there was no evidence that G. was dependent upon the applicant or that he was suffering from any mental or physical disability. It was noted that F. had not been mentioned in the asylum application and that the applicant had not seen his family since 1994.5. The RAC report also noted a disparity with the documentation submitted in support of the family reunification application when compared to the applicant's asylum application: the marriage certificate submitted with the family reunification application was signed by his father, S.O., in 2003. The applicant had stated in his asylum application that his father, S.O., died in 1976 and his brother, of the same name, died in 1992. Some 16 months after receiving the RAC report, the Minister informed the applicant, by letter dated March 21st 2005, that he was considering...

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