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New Zealand: Refugee Status Appeals Authority

The New Zealand Refugee Status Appeals Authority (RSAA) is an independent body established to determine appeals from decisions of the Refugee Status Branch of the New Zealand Immigration Service declining refugee status. The RSAA was initially established in 1991 under the prerogative powers of the Executive (Cabinet) of the New Zealand Government. The RSAA was later given statutory basis pursuant to the Immigration Amendment Act 1999, which came into force on 1 October 1999. The RSAA ceased to exist on 29 November 2010, when it was replaced by the Immigration and Protection Tribunal. Website: www.nzrefugeeappeals.govt.nz/
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Refugee Appeal Nos. 76559, 76560 & 76561

8 November 2010 | Judicial Body: New Zealand: Refugee Status Appeals Authority | Document type: Case Law | Topic(s): Internal flight alternative (IFA) / Internal relocation alternative (IRA) / Internal protection alternative (IPA) - Kurd - Non-state agents of persecution - Persecution based on political opinion - Persecution of family members - Racial / Ethnic persecution - Social group persecution | Countries: New Zealand - Turkey

Application No. 76138

An application pursuant to s129L of the Immigration Act 1987 to cease to recognise a person as a refugee.

23 September 2008 | Judicial Body: New Zealand: Refugee Status Appeals Authority | Document type: Case Law | Topic(s): Cessation clauses - Evidence (including age and language assessments / medico-legal reports) - Kurd - Passports - Persecution based on political opinion | Countries: New Zealand - Turkey

Refugee Appeal No. 76044

The Refugee Status Appeals Authority reaffirmed in this decision New Zealand jurisprudence on the internal protection alternative, holding that even were it free to do so, it would not follow the decisions of the House of Lords in <i><a href="/refworld/docid/43f5907a4.html">Januzi v Secretary of State for the Home Department</a></i> [2006] 2 AC 426 and <i><a href="/refworld/docid/46b89f4c2.html">AH (Sudan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department</a></i> [2007] 3 WLR 832 which facilitate the withholding of recognition of refugee status. The Authority emphasized that such withholding of recognition can only occur in a highly limited class of case where (a) the proposed internal protection alternative is accessible to the individual. This requires that the access be practical, safe and legal; (b) in the proposed site of internal protection there is no risk of being persecuted for a Convention reason; (c) in the proposed site of internal protection there are no new risks of being persecuted or of being exposed to other forms of serious harm or of refoulement; and finally, (d) in the proposed site of internal protection basic norms of civil, political and socio-economic rights will be provided by the State. The Authority has also declined to follow the two recent decisions of the High Court of Australia in <i><a href="/refworld/docid/47f356352.html">SZATV v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship</a></i> (2007) 237 ALR 634 and <i><a href="/refworld/docid/47f357ad2.html">SZFDV v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship</a></i> (2007) 237 ALR 660. In these two decisions the "protection" element of the refugee definition in Article 1A(2) was interpreted as "diplomatic protection". <br><br> In this decision, addressing honour killings in Turkey, the Authority also held that the political opinion ground was the most appropriate Convention ground on which the claim succeeded. The Authority has made important observations about gender in the context of the political opinion ground and the need for that ground to receive a gender-sensitive interpretation. It concluded that "honour" enforces rigid control by men over women and their sexuality. It is about policing community norms and codes of behaviour, collective decisions and acts of punishment. Ultimately, it is about the distribution and exercise of power in Turkish society. The observance of honour reflects the gendered inequality of power in that society. In the specific context the Authority was satisfied that the claimant's assertion of her right to life and of her right to control her life and her challenge to inequality and the structures of power which support it, was plainly "political" as that term is used in the Refugee Convention.

11 September 2008 | Judicial Body: New Zealand: Refugee Status Appeals Authority | Document type: Case Law | Topic(s): Blood feuds - Country of origin information (COI) - Internal flight alternative (IFA) / Internal relocation alternative (IRA) / Internal protection alternative (IPA) - Kurd - Persecution based on political opinion - Social group persecution - State protection - Well-founded fear of persecution | Countries: New Zealand - Turkey

Refugee Appeal No. 75378

19 October 2005 | Judicial Body: New Zealand: Refugee Status Appeals Authority | Document type: Case Law | Topic(s): Arbitrary arrest and detention - Country of origin information (COI) - Freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment - Kurd - Military service / Conscientious objection / Desertion / Draft evasion / Forced conscription - Persecution based on political opinion | Countries: New Zealand - Turkey

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