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Credibility findings by Refugee Appeals Tribunal on allegation of rape were intelligible, specific and rational

By: James Cross BL

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High Court refuses judicial review of decision refusing refugee status to an Irish-born Nigerian infant, where the child's mother had made allegations, inter alia, of rape against a family member in Nigeria and the consequent actions of other family members, on the grounds that the reasons given by the Refugee Appeals Tribunal on each credibility ground were discernible, intelligible, specific, substantial and rational.

Judicial review – leave granted (O’Keefe J) to challenge whether adequate reasons had been given to support the negative credibility findings – Irish born Nigerian applicant suing through her mother and next friend – lacked credibility – mother claimed to have been raped by her brother-in-law – husband did not believe her – detained unlawfully – her attacker was killed – escaped to the next village – from there went to Lagos and then to Ireland - alleged that the Tribunal erred in assessing the mother’s credibility by reference to her personal credibility alone – no analysis of objective country of origin information – no country of origin information submitted – fear of persecution arose from personal and domestic circumstances – decision makers should ensure they culturally contextualise an account of events when testing credibility – the reasons for a decision must be intelligible and adequate – cogency of reasons – principles in relation to giving reasons for credibility findings – level of scrutiny of the adequacy of reasons depends on the forum.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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