The applicant, a national of Georgia, sought asylum for reasons of a claimed fear of persecution because of his political opinion and in particular because of a fear of reprisals for research he carried out for a television programme that investigated government corruption. The applicant said that he did not relocate in Georgia because he felt he would continue to experience problems in an alternative location.
The Refugee Appeals Tribunal refused the applicant’s appeal, finding, inter alia, that his reason for not finding an alternative place to live was implausible. The applicant sought to quash this decision by way of review arguing, inter alia, that the Tribunal erred in law in the manner in which it dealt with internal relocation.
The High Court granted leave to seek judicial review, finding that it was arguable that as internal relocation was an alternative to refugee status, rather than a component of the test, the Tribunal’s approach was not permissible. The Court also held that it was arguable that there was no detailed consideration by the Tribunal regarding whether the risk of persecution extended to any place of proposed internal relocation.