Justice Cooke recently granted leave to seek a judicial review in respect of a negative asylum decision on the basis of the decision maker’s failure to assess the possibility of future persecution open to asylum seekers if returned to Somalia. Asylum was refused to the Applicant as result of credibility findings but Justice Cooke noted the dilemma that faces decision makers in cases where credibility issues arise but the applicant is also from an undeniably dangerous country.
Justice Cooke held that, “any decision maker faced with a claim for asylum based upon a risk of persecution of any applicant who is accepted as being from Somalia must proceed with extreme caution and must reject a claim upon grounds of lack of personal credibility only when it is compellingly necessary to do so.”
The judge held that the fact that the Applicant had a child with a man who was not her husband could lead to persecution if she was returned to Somalia. The lack of credibility with regard to past persecution did not exclude the possibility of future persecution. He held that “the particular story told by the asylum seeker may correctly be disbelieved but it may yet be important to examine the possibility that the person in question may nevertheless have a valid Convention based reason for being unable or unwilling to return to the country of origin especially where it is known to be a place of internal conflict or of prevalent violence.”
You can read the full judgement here.