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

Bullish On China Shopping: Trade Minister On Premier's Visit

Q+A: Trade Minister Todd McClay – not ruling out a conversation around Chinese workers coming to New Zealand to work on infrastructure projects as part of trade talks:

‘Yeah, well, that’s not something that’s on the table at the moment, but, look, what we’ve agreed as part of the, you know, when we start the upgrade negotiation, both sides can raise issues that are of importance to them. We’ve got a list of things we want to talk about. China may well have.’ More>>

 

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

OutsKey: John Key's Valedictory Speech

I rise to address this House for the very last time. It has been a huge privilege to have served the people of Helensville as their member of Parliament, and, of course, the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Productivity Commission: New Models Of Tertiary Education Are Coming

The report is a broad-ranging inquiry into how well New Zealand’s tertiary education system is set up to respond to emerging trends in technology and the internationalisation of education, and changes in the structure of the population, and the skills needed in the economy and society... More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Water Everywhere

Monday's Post-Cabinet press conference focused on water, with the Prime Minister fielding questions about the possibility pricing water taken for export. Mr English said the government was directing their water allocation technical advisory group to include export water in considerations. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news