The European Court of Justice has handed down judgment in a claim referred to it by the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) raising four questions concerning the circumstances in which a stateless person of Palestinian origin should be afforded refugee status.
The underlying claim NB and AB v Secretary of State for the Home Department was brought by the family of a severely disabled child who had previously resided in the Al Bass refugee camp (Lebanon) under the auspices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (“UNRWA”). The claimants argued that they could not return to Al Bass because UNRWA was not capable of providing adequate support to the child and because the discriminatory treatment that he (and the family) had suffered there amounted to persecution.
Directive 2004/83/EU sets out the minimum standards for the qualification of stateless persons as refugees. In short, the claimants had to show that the protection and assistance of UNWRA had “ceased for any reason” (for the purposes of Article 1D of the Geneva Convention) in order to qualify for refugee status.
The referring court asked four questions concerning the proper test to be adopted, when assessing this question, and the evidence that might be relevant to the Court’s assessment. In summary, the European Court held that:
The Judgment is here.
Marie Demetriou QC and Tim Johnston were instructed to intervene in the reference by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, acting pro bono.