Right to Seek Asylum

The Supreme Court of New Zealand allowed for an appeal of a case regarding whether the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (a UN document) was properly applied.

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A Sri Lankan man went to Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government ordered him deported. The Sri Lankan man successfully challenged this deportation order on grounds of procedural unfairness. On appeal, the Court of Final Appeal looked to the Hong Kong office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) regarding whether the man should be considered a refugee. The CFA looked at General Comment No. 1 issued by the Committee Against Torture under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).

Thus, after the CFA’s decisions, the government established a screening process for those claiming the likelihood of torture upon repatriation.

(found in “International Human Rights Law and Domestic Constitutional Law: Internationalisation of Constitutional Law in Hong Kong” by Albert H.Y. Chen, pp. 38-39 )

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