AK v Minister for Justice and Another

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Respondent/Defendant:Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and Refugee Applications Commissioner
Court/s:High Court
Citation/s:[2015] IEHC 599
Nature of Proceedings:Judicial Review
Judgment Date/s:31 Jul 2015
Judge:MacEochaidh J.
Category:Refugee Law
Country of Origin:Ghana
Geographic Focus:Ireland

The applicant, a Ghanaian national, applied for asylum in Ireland on the basis of his homosexuality. Having investigated his application, the Refugee Applications Commissioner recommended that he be refused refugee status on account of lack of credibility. He complained inter alia that the decision unlawfully included a finding that s. 13(6)(b) of the Refugee Act 1996 applied to the decision, namely he had made statements or provided information in support of the application of such a false, contradictory, misleading or incomplete nature as to lead to the conclusion that the application is manifestly unfounded, which finding meant that any appeal to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal would be on the papers only and not by way of oral hearing.

The High Court quashed the s. 13(6)(b) finding.

The court noted that the adverse credibility findings made by the Commissioner were partly based on an appraisal of the applicant’s demeanour. It was therefore necessary that the applicant have an oral appeal to challenge them. To do otherwise would be to deprive him of an oral hearing and thereby breach the State’s obligation under Article 39 of the Procedures Directive which required it to provide an effective remedy to a person in respect of whom a decision on an application for asylum had been taken.

The High Court quashed the s. 13(6)(b) finding made by the Commissioner.


Where adverse credibility findings are made against a protection applicant at first instance which are based on demeanour, such an applicant must be entitled to an oral appeal hearing so that he or she has the opportunity of addressing them.

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