Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Judgment: Climate Refugee Claim Appeal Refused

[Full judgment: TeitiotavCEOMinistryBussIE.pdf]

IN THE HIGH COURT OF NEW ZEALAND
AUCKLAND REGISTRY
CIV-2013-404-3528
[2013] NZHC 3125

BETWEEN IOANE TEITIOTA
Applicant
AND THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE MINISTRY OF BUSINESS INNOVATION AND EMPLOYMENT
Respondent


RESERVED JUDGMENT OF PRIESTLEY J

[...]

Why does the applicant think he is a refugee?

[...]

[14] Overcrowding is a problem which the Kiribati government has had to confront. A long term problem for the Kiribati government is steadily rising ocean levels attributable to climate change.

[15] There is the perception that the inhabitants of Kiribati will be obliged to leave their islands because of rising ocean levels and environmental degradation. This has led to the applicant’s claim for refugee status.

[16] A refugee and protection officer declined to grant the applicant refugee status and/or protected person status. The applicant exercised his statutory right of appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal (the Tribunal). In a lengthy and carefully considered decision released on 25 June 2013 the Tribunal held that the applicant was neither a refugee nor a protected person.

[...]

What are the applicant’s questions of law?

[40] Mr Kidd advanced six questions of law which were, with respect, somewhat imprecise. They were:

(a) The word “refugee” extends to people who are refugees from climate change and its effects and that by referring to such people as “sociological refugees” the Tribunal had erred.
(b) The Tribunal erred in finding that because all people in Kiribati suffer from the same results of “global warming” this disqualifies the applicant from claiming refugee status.
(c) Green house gases are responsible for rising sea levels and changes of weather patterns (inherent in climate change) and, as such, constitute an indirect but worldwide “human agency”.
(d) The Tribunal had failed to consider Articles 2, 3(a) and 24(1) of the ICCPR as they might relate to the three children of the applicant and had further failed to consider Articles 24(1) and 2(a)-(c) of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC).
(e) The Tribunal erred in law in not considering the situation of the applicant’s children separately, particularly as regards the effect on them of water and food deprivation as New Zealand born children who, if returned to Kiribati where they had never lived, would suffer serious harm.
(f) The factual finding of the Tribunal that the applicant’s food and water supply were adequate was a “misdirection” because of the evidence of the effects severe overcrowding and future climate change would have on the applicant and his children.

[…]

Result

[63] For the reasons which are apparent in the previous sections of this judgment and particularly the “Analysis” section, leave to appeal under s 245 from the 25 June 2013 decision of the Immigration and Protection Tribunal on the grounds that the decision was erroneous on points of law is refused. The attempt to expand dramatically the scope of the Refugee Convention and particularly Article 1A(2) is impermissible. The optimism and novelty of the applicant’s claim does not, in the context of well settled law and the current concerns of the international community, convert the unhappy position of the applicant and other inhabitants of Kiribati into points of law.

[64] The decision of the Tribunal is confirmed.

[Full judgment: TeitiotavCEOMinistryBussIE.pdf]

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news