Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Developments in Family Reunification for Refugees - Abdulaziz Ali Mohamed v Minister for Justice and Equality

Failure of the Minster for Justice to establish ‘an objective yardstick’ in relation to establishing economic dependency of family members, led to the quashing of a refusal of Family Reunification in the recent decision in the case of  Abdulaziz Ali Mohamed v Minister for Equality and Justice, delivered on the 14th February 2013.

The Applicant arrived in Ireland as an unaccompanied minor seeking asylum from Somalia. He was declared a refugee on 19th October 2007. This case concerned his application for family reunification with his Mother and four siblings under s.18 (4) of the Refugee Act 1996. The  application was refused on the basis that he had failed to establish that his family were ‘dependent’ on him in the narrow sense of being financially dependent, as it was held the financial support being provided by the applicant did not sufficiently meet the requirements of s. 18 (4).

The Court considered that the Minister must identify ‘some objective yardstick by which dependency can be assessed’. It is inadequate to speculate such a standard in relation to Irish norms. As held in the recent judgment of Ducale & v. The Minister [2013] IEHC 25, ‘financial dependency must be seen as a flexible state of affairs’, of which ‘much must depend on what the contribution provides when received in the hands of the recipient.’ Therefore the Commissioner must endeavour to obtain objective information in order to set out a rational basis for such a finding; no such endeavours were noted in Ducale or the present case.
This decision by Clarke J relies on the decisions of Hogan J in R.X. & Others v. The Minister [2010] IEHC 466, and Cooke J in Hassan Sheikh Ali v. The Minister [2011] IEHC 115, citing that the second most common reason for refusal by the FRU section, that is the refugee’s personal circumstances and prospects in Ireland are such that he/she cannot maintain family members in the State, is in fact an invalid consideration in relation to the assessment of dependency (though potentially relevant to the exercise of discretion should dependency be established).
Clarke J in her conclusion affirmed the need for guidelines in relation to this criterion to be outlined, in order to provide clarity and transparency within the currently ambiguous family reunification process. In her conclusion she held:
 It is not for this Court to set down guidelines as to the exercise of Ministerial discretion under s. 18(4) but a system must, sooner rather than later, stop the haemorrhage of scarce resources in defending flawed FRU decisions and instead ensure that vulnerable refugees do not endlessly pursue futile applications, thus depleting their own financial and emotion reserves. If refugees were better informed on what constitutes dependency and that conditions are de facto applied to family reunification applications, their attentions might be better directed towards obtaining language skills, training, qualifications, work experience and ultimately employment in Ireland before applying again for family reunification.’ [paragraph 28]
From this decision, Ms Justice Clarke makes her opinion clear that:
·   The Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner must attempt to investigate such cases more thoroughly, in order to provide the Court with a rational basis for a finding such as in the case at hand, entail that the ‘dependency’ is not of an adequate standard to satisfy s. 18 (4).
·   A system needs to be adopted to provide a level of guidance in respect to such applications.
We would submit that many of the Minister’s decisions to refuse family reunification to refugees under Section 18 (4) of the Refugee Act 1996 are flawed, as most turn on the point of dependency. If the Minister does not set down clear guidelines as to what constitutes dependency, applicants are denied a fair procedure and effective remedy. It is of great concern to our office to see the inconsistent decisions made in respect of our client’s applications under Section 18 (4). We call on the Minister to follow through on Ms Justice Clarke’s recommendations, and provide a clear and transparent determination process for refugee family reunification applicants. 

Brophy Solicitors


  1. Hello Dear,
    I am looking your site fantastic your site. Your site almost valuable information. so I am very impressed to watch your site information. Your site is very beautiful. I like you and your site. Welcomes all guys to watch and know. Guys come on and look my offering site details - NTRUST provides complete visa application representation & assistance. Starting from IELTS Preparation, skills assessment, state sponsorship, job reference letter, report templates and preparation of legal submissions, we are obliged to help our clients all the way until the until the visa has been granted. Everybody would like this site. For more info and know Details : CLICK HERE TO and WATCH NOW
    Australia Migration Agency
    and WATCH NOW my offer !!! All the best and thanks for see my Migration offer.

  2. Hello Dear,
    I am looking your site fantastic your site. Your site almost valuable information. so I am very impressed to watch your site information. Your site is very beautiful. I like you and your site. Welcomes all guys to watch and know. Guys come on and look my offering site details - American lease options where we help people acquire a home when the banks say no! With Foreclosures as high as they are, with job losses and the resulting damage to personal credit off the charts there are more people than ever who have damaged credit but who still need and want a home of their own. You're invited. Thanks ......
    Rugby Celebrity Field
    Job All Find
    I am Sree Uzzal Kumer Shaha as a SEO Programmer and Profile SEO Expert in oDesk from Bangladesh.