Saini v. Secretary of State for the Home Department


Immigration Appeal Tribunal

[1993] Imm AR 96

Hearing Date: 12 October 1992

12 October 1992

Index Terms:

Adjudicator -- determination -- appeal against refusal by Secretary of State to grant asylum to appellant -- very brief review of evidence -- adverse findings on credibility not supported by full reasons -- whether determination adequate.


The appellant was a citizen of India. He had been admitted to the United Kingdom as a visitor. A subsequent application for political asylum was refused by the Secretary of State. The appellant appealed to an adjudicator, before whom he gave oral evidence. The appeal was dismissed. Before the Tribunal the appellant's representative submitted that the determination was inadequate. The adjudicator had not reviewed all the evidence, and he had made an adverse finding on credibility without giving sufficient reasons for that conclusion. Held 1. The determination was inadequate. The appellant was entitled to a fuller review of the evidence than had been made and to know in more detail why he had been found evasive and of low credibility. 2. The appeal would be allowed to the extent that it would be remitted to another adjudicator for hearing de novo.

Cases referred to in the Judgment:

No cases are referred to in the determination


QS Anisuddin for the appellants; A Gammons for the respondent PANEL: RE Maddison Esq (Chairman) AA Lloyd Esq JP, Major D Francombe

Judgment One:

THE TRIBUNAL: The appellant is a citizen of India. He appeals against the refusal by the Secretary of State on 18 April 1991 to vary his leave to remain in the United Kingdom. He had arrived as a visitor on 25 September 1989: on 10 March 1990 he applied for political asylum. The application was refused on 18 April 1991. He appealed: his appeal was dismissed by an adjudicator (Mr MT Fugard, CB) in a determination dated 22 April 1992. On 16 June 1992 he was granted leave to appeal to the Tribunal. Leave had been granted by the Tribunal because it had felt considerable unease about the style and content of the adjudicator's determination. Made up of three and a half pages, it consisted of an introductory section recounting the history of the appeal, followed by one and a half pages recording the submissions of the representatives, albeit those are noted as "submissions . . . included", and may not be a full record. There then followed a one page summary of the appellant's oral evidence. That part of the determination included this passage: ". . . The Appellant clearly understood the questions which were all asked through the official interpreter. He did not appear to be nervous and it was clear that he had some knowledge of the English language. The Appellant was nevertheless an evasive witness whose evidence was ultimately not believable. I have not been satisfied even to the lower standard which I described that this Appellant has demonstrated a reasonable degree of likelihood that he will be persecuted if he returns to his own country. In this case I generally preferred the arguments which were deployed on behalf of the Respondent to those for the Appellant. This Appellant has not discharged the burden of proof and his appeal is dismissed in accordance with the Immigration Act 1971 section 19(1)(b)." We accept that there is no rule which lays down the style to be followed in writing a determination but it does seem surprising to record the closing submissions of the representatives before reviewing the evidence, oral and documentary, on which the appeal will turn. We think however that an applicant is certainly entitled to a fuller review of that evidence than the adjudicator made in this case. We think, in addition, that there is need for a more careful explanation of why an adjudicator forms an adverse view of a witness' reliability: that is especially the case in political asylum appeals, where credibility is central to the case, in most instances. Mr Anisuddin submitted that the record of proceedings showed no evidence of evasiveness: Mr Gammons was able to point to one possible example, but one which we consider to be not very persuasive. We accept that an adjudicator has no duty to give reasons for reasons, and he may well form a view on credibility from matters which will not appear in the record of proceedings. We think however that an appellant is entitled in equity to a more detailed explanation of why his appeal failed than, in this case and with respect to the adjudicator, he received. In the circumstances, we consider it right for the appeal to be allowed to the extent that it is remitted for hearing de novo by an adjudicator other than Mr Fugard.


Appeal allowed and remitted for re-hearing

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