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

 


Judgment: Teitiota v MBIE - 'climate refugee' claim


[Full judgment: Teitiota_v_MBIE_CA502014_judgment.pdf]

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT

A The application for an extension of time for the leave application is granted.

B The application for leave to appeal to the High Court is dismissed.

C The applicant is to pay the respondent’s costs as for a standard application for leave to appeal under r 14 of the Court of Appeal (Civil) Rules 2005 on a band A basis with usual disbursements.

[…]

Background

[5] Mr Teitiota is unlawfully in New Zealand. He and his wife came here from Kiribati in 2007 and remained after their permits expired, in Mr Teitiota’s case on 7 October 2010. Although their three children were born in New Zealand none is entitled to New Zealand citizenship.

[6] After being apprehended, Mr Teitiota applied for refugee status and/or protected person status. That was declined in a decision of a Refugee and Protection Officer. Mr Teitiota then appealed to the Tribunal. Mr Teitiota applied only for himself. The Tribunal asked Mr Teitiota’s counsel why the application had not extended to Mr Teitiota’s wife and the three children. Mr Kidd’s explanation was that “the health authorities and the kindergarten” had continued to care for the children, notwithstanding that applications for refugee status had not been filed on their behalf.

[7] At the start of its admirably well structured, carefully reasoned and comprehensive decision the Tribunal summarised the basis for Mr Teitiota’s application and the issue it needed to decide in this way:

[2] The appellant claims an entitlement to be recognised as a refugee on the basis of changes to his environment in Kiribati caused by sea-level-rise associated with climate change. The issue for determination is whether the appellant is able to bring himself within the Refugee Convention or New Zealand’s protected person jurisdiction on this basis.

[…]

Summary

[39] For the reasons we have given, it is not appropriate to grant leave to appeal to the High Court on any of the proposed six questions of law.

[40] Although the Court has every sympathy with the people of Kiribati, Mr Teitiota’s claim for recognition as a refugee is fundamentally misconceived. It attempts to stand the Convention on its head. Priestley J succinctly explained why:

[55] The appellant raised an argument that the international community itself was tantamount to the “persecutor” for the purposes of the Refugee Convention. This completely reverses the traditional refugee paradigm. Traditionally a refugee is fleeing his own government or a non-state actor from whom the government is unwilling or unable to protect him. Thus the claimant is seeking refuge within the very countries that are allegedly “persecuting” him. …

[41] No-one should read this judgment as downplaying the importance of climate change. It is a major and growing concern for the international community. The point this judgment makes is that climate change and its effect on countries like Kiribati is not appropriately addressed under the Refugee Convention.

Result

[42] The application for leave to appeal to the High Court is dismissed.

[43] The applicant is to pay the costs of the respondent as for a standard application for leave to appeal under r 14 of the Court of Appeal (Civil) Rules 2005 on a band A basis with usual disbursements.

[Full judgment: Teitiota_v_MBIE_CA502014_judgment.pdf]

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Protests At Child-Abuse Plea Bargains: Long Sentence For Moko Killers Welcomed

Family First NZ is welcoming the sentence of 17 years given to the killers of Moko, but is continuing to call for a review of child abuse laws and for changes to the legal system to avoid ‘plea bargains’ and child abuse killers having their charges reduced from murder to manslaughter. More>>

ALSO:

No Rail For New Harbour Crossing: National Giving Up On Rail In Auckland

The National Government’s decision to scrap two planned rail lines in Auckland shows it is giving up on a city-wide rail network in Auckland, and on thousands of commuters who sit in traffic jams every single day, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Diver's Alarums: Breach Means Training Provider Must Repay $1.47 Million

The New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies is to repay $1.47 million (GST-exclusive) to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) following an investigation which showed that some student enrolments between 2009 -2014 could not be validated and that courses were under-delivered against their agreement with the TEC. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Government Plans Suggest Bulk Funding Return

Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Auckland Looks Long Term To Pay-Per-Km Road Pricing

Aucklanders can expect to be paying variable rates per kilometre to travel on the city's most congested roads under an emerging transport strategy being formulated by the government and the Auckland Council. More>>

ALSO:

Despite Promises: Government Extends Iraq Deployment

Cabinet has agreed to extend New Zealand’s contribution to the joint New Zealand-Australia mission to train Iraqi Security Forces until November 2018. More>>

ALSO:

On The 'Terrorism' Card:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news