This judgment is now reported in [2019] 2 HKC 34.

On 29 November 2018, Deputy High Court Judge Bruno Chan handed down his decision in a judicial review challenge brought by an asylum-seeker from Algeria, allowing the challenge and quashing the decision of the Torture Claims Appeal Board.

The JR challenged two decisions of the Board. First, the decision to reject the Notice of Appeal, which despite being filed within time, was unsigned due to the Applicant’s sudden hospitalization, and second, the decision to refuse an extension of time.

The Court found in favour of the Applicant. The Judge agreed with submissions of the Applicant that the decision to treat the unsigned Notice of Appeal as a nullity rather than an irregularity, was without legal basis. Further, the Court found that the decision to refuse an extension of time was also flawed.  Insufficient consideration was given to the circumstances of the Applicant’s case including, inter alia, his medical condition at the time and his lawyer’s difficulties in getting access to him. High standards of fairness would have allowed the late filing of the Notice.  Accordingly, the Board’s decision that it was not unjust not to allow him to do so was irrational.

The Court directed that both decisions of the Board be quashed, and that the Applicant be able to file a Notice of Appeal and his Appeal be heard afresh before another adjudicator.

Peter Barnes, instructed by Daly & Associates, assigned by the Director of Legal Aid, appeared for the Applicant.

The full judgment can be found here.