Otago Daily Times

A third of rejected asylum cases overturned by appeals tribunal


WELLINGTON: An appeals tribunal has overturned rejection decisions in a third of all asylum cases it has heard in the past year.

The Immigratio­n and Protection Tribunal has also upheld appeals by more than one in three people due to be deported.

In residence appeals, 286 people were successful and another 64 were found to have special circumstan­ces and were referred to the Associate Minister of Immigratio­n.

The tribunal’s annual report for the last financial year showed the number of appeals on hand was the lowest in its history.

That meant almost all appeals could be allocated for a decision or hearing as soon as they were received and prepared.

One notable example where that has not been the case is that of Czech drugsmuggl­er Karel Sroubek, who appealed against his deportatio­n in early 2019.

A search of the tribunal’s 2020 decisions show the Covid19 pandemic was mentioned in 93 of the 232 deportatio­n cases it decided last year, as overstayer­s and criminals fought to stay in New Zealand.

The tribunal was formed a decade ago and replaced four separate appeal bodies covering refugees, removals, deportatio­ns and residency applicatio­ns.

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