TNF v Refugee Appeals Tribunal

 
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[2005] IEHC 423

THE HIGH COURT

[No. 129 JR/2005]
Fasakin -v- Refugee Appeals Tribunal & Anor
JUDICIAL REVIEW

BETWEEN

THERESA NKECHI FASAKIN
APPLICANT

AND

THE REFUGEE APPEALS TRIBUNAL AND THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE EQUALITY AND LAW REFORM
RESPONDENTS
Abstract:

Immigration - Asylum - Refugee Appeals Tribunal - Prior decisions of quasi-judicial decision making body - Precedential value - Judicial review -Leave application for judicial review - Fair procedures - Whether failure by respondent to take relevant matters into consideration - Whether respondent bound to allow applicant’s appeal by virtue of fact that her daughter’s appeal allowed by alternate member of the respondent - Whether respondent breached fair procedures

Facts: the applicant was refused refugee status by the Refugee Applications Commissioner. She appealed that decision to the respondent. Her daughter had previously been granted refugee status by the respondent and she alleged that the respondent failed to take that fact into account when considering her appeal. She also alleged that there was a more general failure by the respondent to take into account the full circumstances of her said application for asylum and sought certiorari of the decision on that basis.

Held by O’Leary J in dismissing the application for leave that the decision of a body in a particular case was neither evidence in an other case nor did it create a binding authority for future cases and each case had to be decided on its own merits. Moreover, the respondent’s interpretation of the evidence before it was not unreasonable.

Reporter: P.C.

Mr. Justice O'Leary
1

The applicant seeks leave to apply by way of judicial review for the following orders:

2

(a) An Order of Certiorari by way of application for Judicial Review quashing the decision of the first named Respondent, dated 20th January, 2005, to refuse to recommend that the Applicant be declared to be a refugee, pursuant to section 16 of the Refugee Act1996.

3

(b) A Declaration by way of application for Judicial Review that the first named Respondent erred in law and/or in fact in its determination of the Applicant's appeal dated the 20th January, 2005.

4

(c) An Order of Mandamus by way of application for Judicial Review requiring the first named Respondent to re-consider the Applicants appeal against the recommendation of the Refugee Applications Commissioner.

5

(d) An Injunction by way of application for Judicial Review restraining the second named Respondent from acting on foot of the decision of the first named Respondent dated 20th December, 2005, pending the outcome of these proceedings.

6

(e) An Order allowing for an extension of time within which to bring an application for the judicial review, pursuant to Section 5(2)(a) of the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking Act),2000.

7

(f) Such further or other Order as to this Honourable Court shall seem meet.

8

(g) An Order providing for Costs.

9

The reliefs are sought on the following grounds:

10

The Tribunal member, acting at all times on behalf of the first named Respondent, erred in law in refusing and/or failing to consider adequately or at all the decision to grant refugee status made by the first named Respondent in respect of the Applicant's daughter.

11

The Tribunal Member erred in law in failing to perform his duty of inquiry, as facilitated by the provisions of the Refugee Act,1996, and as required by the UNHCR Handbook on procedures and criteria for determining refugee status. In particular, but without prejudice to the foregoing, he so erred in law in not giving proper consideration to the decision by the first named Respondent to grant the Applicant's daughter refugee status.

12

The Tribunal member erred in law failing to consider the experiences of members of the Applicant's family in assessing whether the Applicant had a well founded fear of persecution.

13

The Tribunal member erred in law in requiring the Applicant to show that she was singled out for persecution in order for her to be granted refugee status.

14

The Tribunal member erred in law in his application of the concept of persecution.

15

The Tribunal Member erred in law in failing to apply a presumption in favour of the Applicant that she had a well-founded fear of persecution arising from her experiences including past persecution suffered.

16

The Tribunal Member failed to apply the correct standard of proof, that is, whether there was a "reasonable possibility" that the Applicant would be persecuted in the future.

17

The Tribunal Member failed to give the Applicant the benefit of the doubt as required by the UNHCR Handbook on procedures and criteria for determining refugee status.

18

The Tribunal member failed to provide adequate reasons as to why he was not satisfied that the Applicant had a well-founded fear of persecution for a Convention reason.

19

The Tribunal Member failed to consider and/or apply properly or at all the Notice of Appeal filed on behalf of the Applicant.

20

Further, the tribunal member erred in law in failing to set aside the finding of the Refugee Applications Commissioner under section 13(6)(a), and in failing to grant the Applicant refugee status or to direct that the Applicant be re-interviewed by the Commissioner or to direct that she have a full, oral hearing before the tribunal.

21

The tribunal member made findings for which there was no or no adequate or proper, evidential basis.

22

The tribunal member acted in breach of section 16(8) of the Refugee Act,1996.

23

The tribunal member relied upon country of origin information, and made findings that were based upon country of origin information, that were never put to the applicant in breach of the applicant's rights to...

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