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Re Patterson; Ex parte Taylor [2001] HCA 51 (6 September 2001)
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Cases

1 This is an appeal from a decision of a judge of the Court dismissing an application for review of a decision of the Refugee Review Tribunal (‘the RRT’) affirming a decision of a delegate of the respondent to refuse to grant the appellant a protection visa (NATF v Minister for Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs [2004] FCA 195).

2 The appellant is a citizen of Bangladesh who claims a fear of persecution for reason of his religion. The appellant claims that he is an ‘Ahmadi’ or ‘Ahmadiyya’ Muslim, and that when he was living in Bangladesh he was targeted for brutal treatment by (the majority) Sunni Muslims.

NATF v Minister for Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs [2004]

NATF v Minister for Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs [2004] FCAFC 207 (13 August 2004)
Last Updated: 13 August 2004

FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA


NATF v Minister for Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs

[2004] FCAFC 207











Muin v Refugee Review Tribunal (2002) 190 ALR 601 referred to
NADR of 2001 v Minister for Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs (2002) 124 FCR 465 applied
NATF v Minister for Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs [2004] FCA 195 affirmed


















NATF v MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION & MULTICULTURAL & INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
N 227 OF 2004




BEAUMONT, MERKEL & HELY JJ
13 AUGUST 2004
SYDNEY


IN THE FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

NEW SOUTH WALES DISTRICT REGISTRY N 227 OF 2004


ON APPEAL FROM A JUDGE OF THE FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA


BETWEEN: NATF
APPELLANT
AND: MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION & MULTICULTURAL & INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
RESPONDENT
JUDGES: BEAUMONT, MERKEL & HELY JJ
DATE OF ORDER: 13 AUGUST 2004
WHERE MADE: SYDNEY


THE COURT ORDERS THAT:

1. The appeal be dismissed with costs.













Note: Settlement and entry of orders is dealt with in Order 36 of the Federal Court Rules.



IN THE FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

NEW SOUTH WALES DISTRICT REGISTRY N 227 OF 2004


ON APPEAL FROM A JUDGE OF THE FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA


BETWEEN: NATF
APPELLANT
AND: MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION & MULTICULTURAL & INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS
RESPONDENT


JUDGES: BEAUMONT, MERKEL & HELY JJ
DATE: 13 AUGUST 2004
PLACE: SYDNEY


REASONS FOR JUDGMENT

THE COURT:

1 This is an appeal from a decision of a judge of the Court dismissing an application for review of a decision of the Refugee Review Tribunal (‘the RRT’) affirming a decision of a delegate of the respondent to refuse to grant the appellant a protection visa (NATF v Minister for Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs [2004] FCA 195).

2 The appellant is a citizen of Bangladesh who claims a fear of persecution for reason of his religion. The appellant claims that he is an ‘Ahmadi’ or ‘Ahmadiyya’ Muslim, and that when he was living in Bangladesh he was targeted for brutal treatment by (the majority) Sunni Muslims.

3 The RRT came to the conclusion that the appellant is an impostor, finding that it was confident that the appellant is not an Ahmadi Muslim. Whether or not the RRT accepted the appellant’s claim in that respect was a factual matter for the RRT to determine. The RRT’s finding was one which was open to it for the reasons which it gave.

4 In any event, the RRT found that even if the appellant were an Ahmadi Muslim he would still not face a real chance of persecution in Bangladesh. That conclusion was supported by evidence that in February 2003 a national Ahmadi Muslim Jamaat Convention was held in Dhaka over three days and reportedly attended by thousands of delegates from over 100 branches of the Ahmadi Jamaat in Bangladesh. The Convention proceeded without reported protest or controversy, a fact used by the RRT to infer that there was a general confidence on the part of Ahmadis in Bangladesh that they could convene publicly and en masse without being persecuted.

5 In the light of the RRT’s factual findings, the appellant’s application for a protection visa was bound to fail, as his claim to refugee status was dependent entirely upon his religion being that of an Ahmadi Muslim, and upon persons of that religion being persecuted in Bangladesh.

6 Neither the Notice of Appeal, nor the appellant’s Outline of Submissions properly particularises any error in the decision of the primary judge. Reference is made to Muin v Refugee Review Tribunal (2002) 190 ALR 601, but as the appellant made no attempt at first instance to establish any facts analogous to those agreed in Muin, the decision in that case cannot assist him: NADR of 2001 v Minister for Immigration & Multicultural & Indigenous Affairs (2002) 124 FCR 465. Reference is also made to a number of other cases, however, all of the cases are cited in support of general propositions, and no attempt is made to link the general statements to the particular circumstances of the appellant’s case. In any event, the various claims and assertions made by the appellant in his submissions cannot overcome the fact that the RRT disbelieved the foundation upon which his application was premised.

7 One final matter should be commented upon. The appellant claimed at first instance that the fact that the decision of the RRT was given immediately after the conclusion of the hearing by the RRT of the appellant’s account of the matter was indicative of bias, lack of good faith or in some way a breach of the rules of natural justice. The primary judge held, correctly, that it does not follow from the fact that an oral and immediate decision was given that there is any bias, lack of good faith, or that the rules of natural justice have not been complied with. The Notice of Appeal does not explicitly challenge the decision of the primary judge in that respect, but the written submissions (par 12) assert that the RRT’s ‘ignoring of relevant evidence and its finding in the face of contradicting independent evidence’ indicate actual bias on the part of the RRT. The written submissions do not identify this contradicting independent evidence, and the appellant was unable to identify any such evidence in his oral submissions.

8 No error has been demonstrated in the findings of the primary judge. The appeal should be dismissed with costs.


I certify that the preceding eight (8) numbered paragraphs are a true copy of the Reasons for Judgment herein of the Court.



Associate:

Dated: 13 August 2004




The appellant appeared in person



Counsel for the Respondent: T Reilly



Solicitor for the Respondent: Sparke Helmore



Date of Hearing: 11 August 2004



Date of Judgment: 13 August 2004
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