R.F.D.A. Jan.-Feb. 1995, 11 (1), 86
Case Mme Agyepong
2 December 1994
Given that after rehearsing the applicant’s allegations about the persecution she suffered in Liberia after the escape of her husband and the attempted coup d’état in 1985 and her personal fears of further persecution arising from these events, the Commission on Refugee Status held that “neither the documents in the dossier nor the oral testimony at the hearing justified a conclusion that the facts alleged were proved or the fears well-founded”, and in so doing gave sufficient reasons for its decision regarding the personal fears of Mme Agyepong and, without putting on Mme Agyepong a burden of proof which was not on her or misconstruing the documents in the dossier, reached an appraisal of the facts which was within its powers and is not susceptible of discussion in proceedings for cassation;
Given, in the second place, that Mme Agyepong argued before the Commission that she should be recognised as a refugee by reason of her status as the spouse of M. Agyepong; that under article 1 A 2° of the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 relating to the Status of Refugees, as modified by the Protocol signed on 31 January 1967 in New York, the status of refugee is enjoyed “by all persons … who, having just cause to fear persecution on the ground of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or his political opinions, has left the country of which he is a national and cannot, by reason of the fear, claim its protection…”; that the general principles of law applicable to refugees, especially those emerging from the provisions of the Geneva Convention, make it necessary, in order to complete the protection afforded by the Convention, to accord the status of refugee to the spouse and minor children of a fellow-national admitted as a refugee, if they were married at the time he claimed that status;
But given that in holding that the documents of the dossier established that M. Rexfort Agyepong does have refugee status but not that the applicant was indeed married to him the Commission were making an appraisal of the facts within its unreviewable power, not susceptible of discussion in proceedings for cassation; and finally that the fact the Mme Agyepong is the mother of a child recognised as his by M. Agyepong is insufficient to qualify her for the status of refugee;
Given that it follows that Mme Agyepong is not entitled to demand the annulment of the decision of the Commission on Refugee Status;
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