Y v The International Protection Appeals Tribunal

JudgeMr Justice Max Barrett
Judgment Date17 July 2019
Neutral Citation[2019] IEHC 548
Docket Number2018 No. 920 JR
CourtHigh Court
Date17 July 2019

[2019] IEHC 548


Barrett J.

2018 No. 920 JR

– AND –

Asylum Immigration and Nationality – Refugee Status and Subsidiary Protection – Judicial Review – Applicant seeking order of certiorari quashing decision of the International Protection Appeals Tribunal – Whether International Protection Appeals Tribunal adequately assessed and analysed the risk of harm to the applicant in Pakistan as an unmarried mother

Facts: The applicant sought subsidiary protection and refugee status alleging that as an unmarried mother of two children, she and her children (who were born in Ireland) would face discrimination and persecution should they return to Pakistan. The IPAT refused her application (the “Impugned Decision”) finding that the applicant’s fear was not well founded and that there were no specific actors of persecution. The applicant sought an order of certiorari quashing the Impugned Decision.

Held by Barrett J that while the answers to the two specific questions posed by the applicant in her written submissions was “no”, there were deficiencies in the Impugned Decision. In the reasons given by the IPAT in denying the application, it was referenced that there was no evidence of past persecution, however the applicant did not have her two children when she previously lived in Pakistan. As such, the risk of persecution that she now fears was not present.

Relief granted.

JUDGMENT of Mr Justice Max Barrett delivered on 17th July, 2019.

Ms Y, a national of Pakistan, is a sur place asylum-seeker. The IPAT has made a decision refusing to grant her a declaration of refugee or subsidiary protection status and Ms Y seeks to challenge that decision. Ms Y has two daughters (minor children) who were included in the decision to refuse her international protection. It is her relationship to those children that is at the heart of the within application. Both of the children are non-marital children, born in Ireland. Ms Y is concerned that if she is returned to Pakistan, she will be treated as an outcast for having had children outside marriage; her children too, she claims, will likewise be treated as outcasts and exposed to all manner of discrimination.


Turning to the Impugned Decision, a number of difficulties present. Under the heading ‘ Objective Basis’, the IPAT offers three reasons for reaching the conclusion that ‘[T] here is not a reasonable chance that if she [Ms Y] were to be returned to her country of origin she would face a well-founded fear of persecution’:

Reason 1: ‘ The Appellant left Pakistan to study in the UK…[when she was] 33 years of age…. The Appellant was not born in Pakisan but moved there with her parents in her teens, aged 15 years approximately. This means she spent a considerable period of time in Pakistan without incident…whilst pursuing education up to and including a Masters…whilst at the same time working for 15 years on a self-employed basis as a teacher from home. Most importantly, there has been no evidence of past persecution by the Appellant whilst in Pakistan by any state authority or by her community or society at large in her home area of [place stated]… Consequently, there is no presumption of future harm against the Appellant.’

Court Note: While this reason may make sense concerning another aspect of Ms Y's application that is not the subject of this judgment, viz. her sexuality, it makes no sense when it comes to...

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