Gay man wins Irish High Court challenge after being refused international protection

The 25 year-old applied for international protection in Ireland as he fears persecution should he return to his native Georgia.

A photo of a gavel as the High Court ruled in favour of a gay man seeking international protection.
Image: Pexels

A gay man has won a High Court challenge which will see him get a second chance at being granted international protection. Having arrived in Ireland in July 2019, the 25 year-old was initially refused refugee status and subsidiary protection, but the High Court has ordered a fresh consideration of the man’s application.

The man applied for international protection due to fears of persecution for being LGBTQ+ should he return to his native Georgia. He expressed feeling unsafe around his family, and in wider Georgian society, and alleged to have suffered physical violence due to his relationship with another man.

His application was refused by the International Protection Office (IPO), and following on from that, his request for an oral hearing of his appeal before the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT) was also refused. The IPAT upheld the decision from the IPO, and he was ultimately refused refugee/subsidiary protection status.

During his High Court action, he challenged all of the above decisions, and claimed that the IPAT failed to carry out its assessment of his appeal on an individual basis. He said the organisation did not first determine his sexual orientation, but instead looked at a range of other aspects of his narrative in relation to the claim.

He continued by stating the IPAT failed to acknowledge relevant information, such as the country of origin’s attitude towards LGBTQ+ people, and the lack of rights and state protection for the community in Georgia.

Mr Justice Cian Ferriter ruled in favour of the man, saying firstly that the decision to refuse an oral hearing was unlawful, and ordered a fresh determination from the IPAT. He continued by stating that because the oral hearing was wrongly refused, the subsequent decision to not grant refugee/subsidiary protection status must also fail, and the application is to be reconsidered.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.