APPEAL No.  UKIAT 00027 H (Somalia)
Date of hearing: 17th December 2003
Date Determination notified: 17 February 2004
|Entry Clearance Officer, Addis Ababa||RESPONDENT|
"I find on the evidence before me that there was no family life in existence as between the sponsor and the appellants at the date of the decision on 4th December 2001. In my view, the family life which they had was disrupted when the sponsor left Somalia in December 1999. It was her decision to leave the family – the arrangements having been made by her aunt who continued to reside with the appellants in Somalia until they all left Somalia to go to Ethiopia in January 2001 and they have continued to live together as a family since their arrival in Ethiopia. Family life between siblings and other relatives is more likely to disrupted as family members grow older and leave home to form their own relationships in order to form a new life for themselves. This is exactly what has happened insofar as the sponsor is concerned. She moved out of the family home in order to form a new life for herself. … I should state that the appellants do have a family life, but they have this not only amongst themselves but also with their aunt in Ethiopia. There was at the date of decision no family life as between the sponsor and the appellants."
"If a person has been recognised as a refugee in the UK, we will normally recognise family members in line with them. If the family are abroad, we will normally agree to their admission as refugees.
It may not always be possible to recognise the family abroad as refugees – eg they may have a different nationality to the sponsor or they may not wish to be recognised as refugees. However, if they meet the criteria set out in paragraph 2, they should still be admitted to join the sponsor. The sponsor is not expected to meet the maintenance and accommodation requirements of the Immigration Rules."
We have set out the paragraph 2 criteria above. Mr Toal put his argument on the basis that the Appellants met the criteria in paragraph 2, but were not seeking admission as refugees. He submitted that the Appellants were "other members of the family" in "compelling, compassionate circumstances". He suggested more tentatively that the Appellants were minor children within the scope of "the spouse and minor children who formed part of the family unit" when the sponsor fled. We do not accept that latter suggestion; in context, it clearly refers to the spouse of and the minor children of the sponsor-refugee.
"(1) Member states hosting refugees and other persons in need of international protection who have no other country than the country of asylum or protection in order to lead a normal family life together, should promote through appropriate measures family reunion taking into account the relevant case-law of the European Court of Human Rights.
(2) Members of the family of the refugee or other person in need of international protection covered by this recommendation are the spouse, dependent minor children and, according to domestic legislation or practice, other relatives."
Mr Toal suggested that the Appellants fell into the category of dependent minor children or other relatives. He also referred to the provisions of the Vienna Convention on the law of treaties which permit subsequent agreements and practice in the application of a treaty to be taken into account in its interpretation.
"The High Contracting Parties shall secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in section 1 of this Convention."
MR JUSTICE OUSELEY