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IE: The High Court determined that the tribunal made a lawful decision in assessing the credibility of an applicant from Ghanaian seeking international protection on grounds of sexual orientation.

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Other Source/Information
Original Documents
Relevant Legislative Provisions
National law only (in case there is no reference to EU law/ECHR)
Ireland, High Court, F.B.C. v International Protection Appeals Tribunal & Anor, [2024] IEHC 343, 07 June 2024. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
Permanent link to the case
Case history

European Union, Court of Justice of the European Union [CJEU], M.M. v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and Others, C-277/11, ECLI:EU:C:2012:744, 22 November 2012.

Other information

The applicant, F.B.C., a national of Ghana, applied for international protection in Ireland on grounds of persecution based on his sexual orientation. The applicant claimed that he had suffered persecution in Ghana and feared further persecution as he was openly gay. The International Protection Office rejected his application for international protection due to credibility issues surrounding his allegations of persecution and his claim that he was gay. The applicant appealed the decision to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal (IPAT), which affirmed the decision of the International Protection Office.

The applicant filed an appeal before the High Court, claiming that the tribunal erred in law by ruling that his evidence was not credible and that the conclusions were disproportionate and based on conjecture or stereotypes. The applicant further claimed that the Tribunal had violated the norms of fair procedures by making unfavourable judgments on his credibility without presenting the arguments to the applicant for rebuttal or explanation. Furthermore, the applicant argued that the tribunal's conclusions were illogical and irrational considering the unfavourable credibility determinations.

The High Court rejected the appeal, noting relevant case law that strongly supported the concept that a credibility assessment must be evaluated in its entirety, and that attempting to rationalise the verdict to the extent suggested by the applicant was not appropriate. The High Court highlighted that when assessing credibility based on a claim related to an applicant's sexuality, there is a strong requirement to avoid conjecture or stereotype. The court observed that the tribunal was extremely mindful of the need to avoid stereotypical thinking and was conscious of the norms drawn from UNHCR guidelines on International Protection No.9 on claims to refugee status based on sexual orientation, the CJEU judgment in A., B., C. v Staatssecretaris van Veiligheid en Justitie, and national case law. The High Court was thus not satisfied that the tribunal erred in its credibility assessment and that the Tribunal made findings based on conjecture or stereotype. The High Court noted that the tribunal had to take a decision and it did so after carefully considering the circumstances and after providing the applicant with sufficient opportunities to express his viewpoint. The High Court found nothing illogical or arbitrary about the credibility assessment as conducted by the tribunal and validated its decision. 

Country of Decision
Court Name
IE: High Court
Case Number
[2024] IEHC 343
Date of Decision
Country of Origin
Assessment of Application
Gender identity / Gender expression / Sexual Orientation / SOGIESC