This appeal concerns article 17 of Regulation EU 604/2013 Establishing the Criteria and Mechanisms for Determining the Member State Responsible for Examining an Application for International Protection Lodged in One of the Member States by a Third-Country National or a Stateless Person (Recast) (“Dublin III”) which vests in Member States the discretion to deal with an application for refugee status on humanitarian or compassionate grounds where Dublin III would otherwise have resulted in that application being transferred to another Member State.
The appeal is from two written judgments of O’Regan J. delivered on 26 June 2017, U. v. Refugee Appeals Tribunal  IEHC 490, and 24 October 2017, U. v. Refugee Appeals Tribunal  IEHC 613 (the names are not redacted in the original), and order of 14 November 2017 in judicial review proceedings brought against a decision of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal (“ RAT”) which had upheld the decision of the Office of the Refugee Appeals Commissioner (“ORAC”) to transfer the application for refugee status to the relevant authorities in the United Kingdom.
The first appellant, Ms N. V. U., a Pakistani national, was born in 1979. She is the mother of the second, third, and fourth appellants, all minors. She asserts that she had travelled to the United Kingdom on foot of a spousal visa granted on 10 January 2014. In June 2015, her visa having expired on 28 May 2015, she travelled from the United Kingdom to Ireland with her children. She claims that she was in flight from an abusive husband. On 5 June 2015 she made an application under the Refugee Act 1996 for a declaration of refugee status on behalf of herself and her three children to the Irish authorities. Her claim for refugee status was based on an asserted fear of persecution if she and her children were returned to Pakistan. She asserted that the correct forum for the determination of her application for refugee status was Ireland, as she was at risk of inhuman and degrading treatment in the United Kingdom if she was returned there for the purpose of the determination by the United Kingdom of her application.
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