9 December 2003

Gay asylum bid clears first hurdle

The High Court, by a 4-3 majority, allowed the men's appeals.

It held that the tribunal should have considered what might happen if they had lived openly as a homosexual couple. The majority held that the tribunal also fell into jurisdictional error by dividing Bangladeshi homosexuals into two groups - discreet and non-discreet - and failed to consider whether the men might suffer harm if police, employers or others became aware of their homosexuality.

'By declaring that there was no reason to suppose that the appellants would not continue to act discreetly in the future, the tribunal effectively broke the genus of homosexual males in Bangladesh into two groups - discreet and non-discreet homosexual men in Bangladesh,' the High Court said in its judgment.

'By doing so, the tribunal fell into jurisdictional error that renders its decision of no force or effect.'

The High Court ordered the RRT to redetermine its review of the Immigration Department's decision.

More later, perhaps. when I've read the decision.

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