FFD v Refugee Appeals Tribunal & Ors

Respondent/Defendant:Refugee Appeals Tribunal & Ors
Court/s:High Court
Citation/s:[2003] 3 ICLMD 56
Judgment Date/s:22 Jan 2003
Category:Refugee Law
Keywords:Refugee, Refugee Law, Refugee Status

The applicant applied for judicial review in relation to the decisions of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to refuse her refugee status and to deport her. The Refugee Commissioner had recommended that her application be refused. The applicant had been informed that she could appeal within 15 working days. She met with the representative of a local asylum seekers’ support group but there was a misunderstanding and the applicant averred that it was her belief that the notice of appeal had been lodged on her behalf, then in fact it had not.

The Court granted the relief sought, acknowledging that the applicant had done everything that could be expected of her. The Court noted that the applicant had in no sense contributed to the appeal being out of time and had consequently suffered an injustice. The Court noted that the applicant had been failed by a person whose role amounted to that of legal advisor and that, in addition, the statutory provisions governing the powers of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal and the Minister must, insofar as possible, be interpreted as being intended to accord with the principles of constitutional justice, including the right to fair procedures.


Where an applicant fails to lodge an appeal to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal within the time allowed, in circumstances where the applicant had done everything that could reasonably be expected of her and had in no sense contributed to the situation where her appeal was out of time, it is an injustice not to allow the appeal.

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