OK and Anor v Refugee Applications Commissioner & Anor


Respondent/Defendant:Refugee Applications Commissioner & Anor
Court/s:High Court
Citation/s:[2007] IEHC 11
Judgment Date/s:07 Feb 2007
Category:Refugee Law
Keywords:Refugee, Refugee Law, Refugee Status
Country of Origin:Republic of the Congo

The Commissioner recommended that the applicants, Democratic Republic of Congo nationals, be refused asylum. The applicants had claimed that they were members of the Lendu ethnic group, that they had fled from Bunia to Fataki in April 2003 due to their difficulties, and that they escaped when armed members of the Hema raided the house. The Commissioner found the applicants’ evidence of moving to Fataki and their subsequent escape to be lacking in credibility, stating that it was questionable that the applicants would move to Fataki as it was the main town of the district the locus of the conflict, and as it was run by the very group, the Hema, whom the applicants claimed to fear. The applicants contended, inter alia, that the Commissioner based an adverse credibility finding on errors of fact, and on conjecture.

In refusing the relief sought, the Court held that while the Commissioner had misdirected herself in concluding that Fataki was the main town in the district when the country of origin information clearly stated that Bunia was the main town, and while there was therefore no rational basis for the Commissioner to question the claimed relocation to Fataki on this ground, the Commissioner’s misdirection did not invalidate her conclusion because the finding was also based on an entirely separate and severable consideration that was not demonstrated to be incorrect  i.e. that considering that the Fataki area appeared to be under Hema control, there were serious doubts about the applicants’ claims to have moved there given that they belonged to the Lendu tribe.


Where there is an error of fact in an asylum decision going to the credibility of the applicant, the Court can consider whether that error is severable from other reasons for the decision.

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