The applicant claimed asylum on the basis that she would be forced into a marriage and cited country of origin information that showed that forced marriage occurred in her country of origin. She stated that the authorities had no way of effectively dealing with the matter. The Refugee Appeals Tribunal refused the applicant’s appeal finding that there was country of origin information that stated that in one instance a captor of a child bride had been tried and convicted. The applicant challenged the Tribunal’s decision by way of judicial review claiming that it had wrongly considered the evidence before it concerning State protection.
The Court granted leave finding that the country of origin information relied on by the Tribunal clearly referred to the exception rather than the rule and that it was arguable that a reference to an isolated example of State protection was insufficient to justify a finding of adequate State action. The Court held that the test is whether the country of origin concerned provides reasonable protection in practical terms and that while the existence of a law against activity amounting to persecution is a factor to be considered the true question is whether the law coupled with its enforcement affords reasonable protection in practical terms.