FA v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and Appeals Authority

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Respondent/Defendant:Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and Appeals Authority
Court/s:High Court
Citation/s:[2002] 5 ICLMD 108;[2001] IEHC 217
Judgment Date/s:21 Dec 2001
Judge:Ó Caoimh
Category:Refugee Law
Keywords:Refugee, Refugee Law, Refugee Status
Country of Origin:Sierra Leone
References:House of Lords in R v Secretary of State for the Home Department - ex parte Sivakumaran [1988] Imm AR 147 ; Adan v Secretary of State for the Home Office [1998] 2 W.L.R. 702

The applicant was refused asylum at first instance and appealed to the Appeals Authority. At the appeal he gave evidence of his claimed experience of arrest, imprisonment and subjection to torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment in Sierra Leone and argued that such treatment occurred by reason of political activity and membership of a social group. The Appeals Authority found inter alia that the applicant lacked credibility and also that he had not satisfied the standard of proof of a “reasonable likelihood of persecution”. The Applicant argued inter alia that the correct standard of proof was not “a reasonable likelihood” but a lesser standard.

The Court was satisfied that the test applied by the Appeals Authority that there must be a “reasonable likelihood” of persecution accorded with the test applied by the House of Lords in R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Sivakumaran [1988] Imm AR 147 where Lord Keith of Kinkel spoke of the need for an applicant to demonstrate “a reasonable degree of likelihood that he would be persecuted for a conventional reason if returned to his own country”.

Principles:

The correct standard of proof in applications for asylum is whether there is a reasonable likelihood of persecution for a Convention reason if an applicant for asylum is returned to his or her country of origin.

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