Refugee Status Appeals Authority  




Before:                               R.P.G. Haines (Member)
Counsel for the Appellant:    R Nand

Appearing for the NZIS:        No appearance

Date of Hearing:                  10 April 1996

Date of Decision:                 10 April 1996



This is an application for an adjournment.

The appellant, a citizen of Pakistan, arrived in New Zealand on 15 September 1994. His refugee application was received by the New Zealand Immigration Service on 8 December 1994.

The Refugee Status Section interview took place on 16 March 1995. A second interview was held on 23 June 1995. Subsequently, further information was requested from the appellant. Eventually, in a decision dated 31 January 1996, the Refugee Status Branch declined the application.

By letter dated 19 February 1996, the appellant, though his solicitors, appealed to this Authority.

By letter dated 18 March 1996, the Secretariat advised the solicitors for the appellant that the appeal would be heard today, Wednesday 10 April 1996 at 10am. By letter dated 25 March 1996, the Secretariat sent to the appellant’s solicitors a numbered copy of the file held by the Authority. The letter also gave notice that the appellant was required to file, three clear days before the hearing, a memorandum setting out the appellant’s submissions.

No such memorandum has been filed.

This morning, Mr Nand has appeared without his client to seek an adjournment. In support, he has proffered the following information. A few weeks ago the appellant was involved in a motor vehicle accident and this somehow prevented him from keeping an appointment to see Mr Nand on Wednesday 3 April 1996. The appellant has, however, now fully recovered from the accident.

However, last night the appellant came down with the flu and the Authority is told by Mr Nand that he (the appellant) is being taken to see a doctor this morning.

In these circumstances, the adjournment application is granted subject to the following conditions:

1.    The appeal is adjourned for hearing at 10am on 7 May 1996.

2.    The adjournment is conditinal on the production by the appellant of a medical certificate on or before 4pm on 11 April 1996.

3.    The adjournment is a final adjournment.


A pro forma medical certificate from Dr V K Sharma of 444 Richardson Road, Mt Roskill, Auckland, was received by the Secretariat on the afternoon of 10 April 1996. It is in the following terms:

“The person abovenamed was seen by me today and the history I have obtained is that disability has been sufficient that the patient has been unable to work since 10/4/96 and should be able to return to work on 11/4/96.”
The Authority is driven to observe that this medical certificate contains no meaningful information. In particular, there is no confirmation of the appellant’s claim that he is suffering from influenza.

Counsel is requested to note that in future, a medical certificate tendered in support of an adjournment application must meet minimal requirements. In particular, the Authority requires that the certificate clearly specify:

1.    The illness or disability of the appellant.

2.    The expected duration of the illness or disability.

3.    The reason why, in the opinion of the registered medical practitioner, the appellant is unable to attend the scheduled hearing.

4.    The medical practitioner's opinion as to when the appellant will be fit to attend a hearing.

Medical certificates which do not contain meaningful information in the terms required by the Authority will not, in future, be accepted.

“R P G Haines”