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Full-text Decisions of the RSAA

Last Updated: 8 July 2004

This page contains a chronological list of selected full-text decisions of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority, starting from the Authority's most recent selected decision to its first decision. An Index has been provided which notes the key points discussed in each decision. Use the Index to link to the full-text decisions of interest.


Refugee Appeal No. 74665/03 (7 July 2004) - Application of the human rights approach to "being persecuted" - voluntary but protected action - sexual orientation and the Refugee Convention concept of "being persecuted"

Refugee Appeal No. 73889/02 (19 December 2002) - No right to choose interpreter - not a proper ground of objection that claimant feels uncomfortable with interpreter on political grounds

Refugee Appeal Nos. 72558/01 & 72559/01 (19 November 2002) - Recent case law on the meaning of persecution - relationship between the surrogacy principle (availing state protection) and the principle of exhaustion of domestic remedies - relevance of exhaustion of domestic remedies principle in the refugee context - human rights based approach to persecution and the jurisprudence of the various supervisory bodies under the ICCPR, ICESCR, CEDAW, CERD and the CRC - inter-faith marriage and “right” to found a family - discrimination on the grounds of gender - the issue of bribery

Refugee Appeal No. 73545/02 (11 October 2002) - language analysis - assessment of

Refugee Appeal No. 72635/01 (6 September 2002) - stateless persons and the Refugee Convention - meaning of former habitual residence - former habitual residence and legal return - Causation - the standard of causation - Michigan Guidelines on Nexus to a Convention Ground - Article 1F(a) exclusion for watching torture

Refugee Appeal No. 72668/01 - Ruling on Legal Issues (5 April 2002) - burden of proof - whether refugee claimant bears the responsibility to establish the claim to refugee status - nature and meaning of burden of proof - well-founded fear - whether decision-maker must engage in speculation as to possibilities as opposed to determining whether there is a real substantial basis for the fear - whether fear of persecution is well-founded if it is merely assumed or if it is mere speculation - persecution - meaning of - reasons for rejecting dictionary approach and preferring a test which examines whether there is a sustained or systemic violation of basic human rights demonstrative of a failure of state protection

Refugee Appeal No. 72752/01 (15 November 2001) - interpreters in the refugee context - the duty to act fairly and the duty to provide an interpreter - the statutory duty to provide an independent interpreter - the standard of interpretation - the duty to provide an interpreter is not open-ended - interpreters under the ICCPR and ECHR - the discretion to interview where the claim is manifestly unfounded or clearly abusive - issue of witness summons where there is a claim to diplomatic immunity

Refugee Appeal No. 72766/01 (27 September 2001) - interpreter - at interview with refugee status officer stating that what witness said was not true and making remarks concerning Roma of a general prejudicial nature - whether objection properly taken to same interpreter being retained for appeal hearing before Refugee Status Appeals Authority

Refugee Appeal No. 72462/00 (12 April 2001) - withdrawal of an appeal - whether leave of the Authority required for appeal to be withdrawn - whether appeal may be withdrawn at any time prior to the decision being notified to the appellant - whether a withdrawal may be retracted with the leave of the Authority

Refugee Appeal No. 71427/99 (16 August 2000) - understanding the meaning of persecution - the standard of state protection - whether Horvath to be followed in New Zealand - establishing the nexus where Persecution = Serious Harm + The Failure of State Protection - particular social group - principles to be applied - whether gender can be the defining characteristic of a social group and whether "women" may be a particular social group

Refugee Appeal No.  71729/99 (22 June 2000) - assessment of medical, psychological and psychiatric reports - internal protection alternative - whether a reasonableness requirement - the burden of proof and the internal protection alternative

Refugee Appeal No.  71864/00 (2 June 2000) - whether jurisdiction to rehear an appeal after a full hearing and decision

Refugee Appeal No.  71735/99 (25 January 2000) - adjournment applications - whether adjournments should be granted because counsel instructed has other commitments - whether appellant entitled to counsel of his or her choice

Refugee Appeal No.  71684/99 (29 October 1999) - internal protection - the nature and intensity of the inquiry into meaningful internal protection - whether reasonableness an element of the internal protection inquiry - whether the term "internal protection alternative" to be preferred to "relocation" and "internal flight alternative" - formulation of the inquiry into the internal protection alternative - the Michigan Guidelines on the Internal Protection Alternative

Refugee Appeal No.  71404/99 (29 October 1999) - Indonesia - proper test for assessing when a fear of persecution is well-founded - whether discrimination can be persecution - whether atmosphere of insecurity can be persecution - internal protection alternative in the context of a nation comprising an archipelago of islands

Refugee Appeal No.  71219/99 (14 October 1999) - Conscientious objection to military service - circumstances in which such objection can found a claim to refugee status

Refugee Appeal No.  71462/99 (27 September 1999) - civil war - State complicity - establishing nexus in a civil war situation - whether persecution requires systematic conduct

Refugee Appeal No.  71077/98   ( 17 December 1998) - requirements for psychological and psychiatric reports

Refugee Appeal No.  70951/98  (5 August 1998) - discretion to interview; manifestly unfounded claims - Excom Conclusion No. 30

Refugee Appeal No.  70100/96  (28 November 1997) - refugee sur place - good faith

Refugee Appeal No.  2151/94 Re RBJA  (13 November 1997) - sexual orientation

Refugee Appeal No.  70326/96 Re CZ  (24 October 1997) - single solo mothers not a particular social group

Refugee Appeal No.  70366/96 Re C  (22 September 1997) - whether past persecution alone satisfies Article 1A(2); the relevant date for determination of refugee status; treaty interpretation

Refugee Appeal No.  70656/97 Re KB  (10 September 1997) - hearings not adversarial; Article 1F(b)

Refugee Appeal No.  70461/97 Re SMI  (4 September 1997) - jurisdiction - third appeal - change in perception of country conditions not change in circumstances

Refugee Appeal No.  70537/97 Re GS  (14 August 1997) - jurisdiction to reopen an appeal- decision published without taking into account post hearing submissions filed pursuant to leave

Refugee Appeal No.  70387/97 Re MSI  (14 May 1997) - second appeal - jurisdiction - whether misunderstanding of evidence a change in circumstances

Refugee Appeal No.  70282/96 Re BJJ  (10 April 1997) - boundaries of psychological reports

Refugee Appeal No.  70120/96 Re ORAAS  (1 April 1997) - relevant date for determination; well-founded fear - no two-stage process

Refugee Appeal No.  70050/96 Re BS  (20 February 1997) - no second appeal where previously excluded under Article 1F

Refugee Appeal No.  70165/96 Re JM & SJ  (13 February 1997) - persecution - employment - education and religious discrimination - not persecution

Refugee Appeal No.  2226/94 Re LRR  (16 October 1996) - refugee sur place - good faith requirement

Refugee Appeal No.  70027/96 Re SMI  (19 September 1996) - second appeal cannot be used as a pretext to revisit adverse credibility findings made in first appeal

Refugee Appeal No.  70074/96 Re ELLM  (17 September 1996) - multiple nationality; well-founded fear - real chance - objective test; presumption of state protection

Refugee Appeal No. 70146/96 Re JS  (30 August 1996) - social group - requirements

Refugee Appeal No.  2313/94 Re NV  (7 June 1996) - concessions - whether to be acted on

Refugee Appeal No.  70002/96 Re BS  (7 May 1996) - responsibility of counsel to be properly prepared; third appeals; abusive claims

Refugee Appeal No.  2124/94 Re LYB  (30 April 1996) - one child policy - whether Convention reason present; persecution - employment

Refugee Appeal No.  2507/95 Re JEAH  (22 April 1996) - Convention reason - limits to imputed political opinion; degree to which findings of fact in relation to country of origin capable of setting a precedent

Refugee Appeal No.  2561/95 Re MSM  (10 April 1996) - adequacy of medical certificate

Refugee Appeal No.  2039/93 Re MN  (12 February 1996) - persecution - substantial discussion in context of Arab-Iranian woman; cultural relativity; agents of persecution - state complicity - gender persecution - human rights framework; discrimination; religion and political opinion; social group - women

Refugee Appeal No.  2338/94 Re ARS (30 November 1995) - Article 1F(c)

Refugee Appeal No.  1655/93 Re MSI  (23 November 1995) - Article 1F(a)

Refugee Appeal No.  522/92 Re ARR  (21 November 1995) - procedure where the grant of refugee status may have been procured by fraud - nature of inquiry

Refugee Appeal No. 112/92 Re IS  (27 October 1995) - adjournment applications - relevant considerations

Refugee Appeal No.  2416/95 Re AMM  (18 October 1995) - adjournment applications - whether relevant that counsel unavailable and legal aid not granted

Refugee Appeal No.  1312/93 Re GJ  (30 August 1995) - sexual orientation; particular social group - extensive discussion and survey of overseas jurisprudence on sexual orientation

Refugee Appeal No.  1248/93 Re TP  (31 July 1995) - exclusion - Article 1F(a) - crimes against humanity - serious reasons for considering - the means rea ingredient and degree of complicity

Refugee Appeal No. 523/92 Re RS  (17 March 1995) - nature of the appeal; burden of proof; standard of proof; practice and procedure; well founded fear; regionalised failure to protect - relocation - extensive survey of overseas jurisprudence

Refugee Appeal No.  680/92 Re DS (27 February 1995) - the finality principle; non appearance

Refugee Appeal No. 1039/93 Re HBS and LBY (13 February 1995) - 6-12, 26 - persecution - discrimination - consciously strive both to recognise and to give proper weight to the impact of discriminatory measures against women; ICCPR Article 18; ICCPR Article 17; ICCPR Article 23; hierarchy of rights; discussion of apostasy and the negative freedom not to belong to any religion

Refugee Appeal No. 1496/93 Re LDD (10 February 1995) - refugee sur place; religion - conversion; inappropriate questioning; mindset

Refugee Appeal No. 2245/94 Re SS (28 October 1994) - second appeals

Refugee Appeal No. 2254/94 Re HB (21 September 1994) - second appeals; refugee sur place - whether good faith requirement; relevant date for determination of refugee status

Refugee Appeal No. 1222/93 Re KN (5 August 1994) - prosecution/persecution; race; religion; social group; exclusion

Refugee Appeal No. 732/92 Re CZZ (5 Aug 1994) - substantial discussion whether denial of secondary education constitutes persecution. Discussion also of the right to work

Refugee Appeal No.  265/92 Re SA (29 June 1994) - credibility - is the decision- maker "sure that the appellant's account is untrue"; credibility and documentary evidence; prosecution/persecution

Refugee Appeal No.  474/92 Re KA  (12 May 1994) - in refugee cases only the highest standards of fairness will suffice - failure to disclose prejudicial information - deciding without hearing; change in circumstances in home country

Refugee Appeal No. 300/92 Re MSM (1 March 1994) - persecution - persons similarly situated - past persecution - view of agent of persecution determinative; religion - apostasy

Refugee Appeal No. 497/92 Re KG  (3 February 1994) - relocation - single woman; regionalised failure to protect

Refugee Appeal No. 135/92 Re RS  (18 June 1993) - persecution not to be confused with torture; relocation; torture; torture victims and relocation; relocation and Article 1C(5) & (6)

Refugee Appeal Nos. 296/92 and 297/92 Re KT and LK  (5 February 1993) - unlawful departure; compulsory military training; prosecution/persecution

Refugee Appeal No. 11/92 Re AA  (22 December 1992) 11-14 - change of circumstances in home country; cessation

Refugee Appeal No. 15/92 Re NMK  (2 December 1992) 5-6 - fairness - inappropriate detention and interview procedures; cessation

Refugee Appeal No. 67/92 Re BR  (10 November 1992) - social group; passports; cessation

Refugee Appeal No. 3/91 Re ZWD  (20 October 1992) - detention - Gulf War procedures; unlawful departure; multiple nationality and statelessness; China, one child policy; persecution; membership of a particular social group

Refugee Appeal No. 55/91 Re RS  (10 August 1992) - medical reports and mentally disturbed or ill persons; misdirection - prospect of persecution not occurring; relevance of past persecution; torture and relocation

Refugee Appeal No. 47/92 Re PS  (5 August 1992) - prosecution/persecution; Geneva Conventions; due process

Refugee Appeal No. 18/92 Re JS  (5 August 1992) - state protection - regionalised failure to protect; relocation

Refugee Appeal No. 20/92 Re TP  (23 July 1992) - fairness - inappropriate detention and interview procedures; relevance of decline of refugee status in a third country; change of circumstances in home country

Refugee Appeal No.  10/92 Re MI  (22 July 1992) - fairness - appellant's submissions sought but decision made before submissions received; refugee sur place; religion - conversion

Refugee Appeal No.  81/91 Re VA  (6 July 1992) - date for determination - change of circumstances in home country; cessation - need for Terms of Reference to provide for

Refugee Appeal No.  59/91 Re R  (19 May 1992) - jurisdiction to grant leave to appeal out of time; whether jurisdiction to re-open an appeal

Refugee Appeal No.  1/92 Re SA   (30 April 1992) - manifestly unfounded claims; country of first asylum; relevance of decline of refugee claim in a third country; Excom Conclusions; credibility; jurisdiction - meaning of "decision"; multiple nationality; statelessness; country of former habitual residence; Article 1D; derogation - proportionality

Refugee Appeal No. 46/91 Re SM   (10 April 1992) - leave to appeal out of time - jurisdiction

Refugee Appeal No.  80/91 Re NS  (20 February 1992) - gender persecution; women - social group

Refugee Appeal No.  29/91 Re SK  (17 February 1992) - inference and conjecture distinguished; prosecution/persecution; Article 1F(b)

Refugee Appeal No. 19/91 Re SA  (17 February 1992) - significance of lies; weight to be given to medical report

Refugee Appeal No. 61/91 Re NSG  (13 February 1992) - Article 1F(a)

Refugee Appeal No. 11/91 Re S  (5 September 1991) - date for determination; social group; state protection; agents of persecution; regionalised failure to protect

Refugee Appeal No. 9/91 Re AMR  (27 August 1991) - neutrality as a political opinion; benefit of doubt

Refugee Appeal No. 4/91 Re SDJ  (11 July 1991) - political opinion - low profile & singling out misdirection; discrimination

Refugee Appeal Nos. 1/91 and 2/91 Re TLY and LAB (11 July 1991) - the refugee definition; well founded fear (real chance); discrimination; political opinion - extent of political involvement - attitude of agent of persecution