The applicant furnished medical reports as evidence in his appeal on foot of his application for refugee status. The reports stated, inter alia, that the physical evidence was consistent with his claim of torture. The Refugee Appeals Tribunal refused the applicant’s appeal on credibility grounds. The Tribunal’s decision then considered one of the medical reports and stated that if the applicant had presented a credible claim it may have been that he would have come within Section 2 of the Refugee Act 1996. The Court granted an order of Certiorari, finding that the medical evidence represented important evidence that was before the Tribunal, that the Tribunal Member was required in the circumstances to consider the evidence in total and was obliged as part of a rational analysis to explain, having considered the medical evidence along with the other evidence, why in the view of the Tribunal the applicant was not telling the truth.
The Court found that it was clear the credibility issue was determined before any reference was made to the medical evidence and that reference was made to only one of the reports when there were several. The Court found that the matter of the medical evidence was only addressed after the Tribunal had come to its conclusion that the applicant was not credible. The Court stated that the medical evidence should have been considered, weighed in the balance and a rational explanation given as to why it was being rejected in circumstances where the tribunal was making a finding that the applicant was not credible Medical evidence should be considered, weighed in the balance and a rational explanation given if it is being rejected if the decision maker is finding that against an applicant on credibility.