Jonah v Secretaty of State for the Home Department: 1985

The Ghanaian applicant asylum seeker had been a senior trade union official. He had lost his job and been ill-treated following political changes in Ghana. He had hidden in a remote village before seeking asylum in this country. The adjudicator acknowledged that he would be in jeopardy if he resumed his former activities, but concluded that he would be in no danger if he lived quietly in retirement. The Immigration Tribunal had found no reason to interfere with the adjudicator’s finding of fact and dismissed his appeal.
Held: The court had to decide was whether the adjudicator had adopted the appropriate standard of proof when he said that he could not be satisfied, even on the balance of probabilities, that Mr Jonah’s declared fears of persecution if he was to return to Ghana were well-founded and to apply paragraph 134 of the Immigration Rules, entitling to Secretary of State to remove an asylum-seeker if he was not satisfied that his fear of persecution was well-founded. Appplying Fernandez as to the difference between establishing the existence of facts and prophesying what can only happen in the future, since the court was obliged to make an informed guess as to what might happen in the future it could only do so on the basis of the facts proved on the balance of probabilities. The likelihood of persecution contemplated by the paragraph was different from proof on the balance of probabilities that persecution would occur, but the matter could not usefully be carried further without the danger of creating purely semantic problems where none existed for a tribunal applying its common sense and judgment to the facts proved before it.


Nolan J


[1985] Imm AR 7


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedHysi v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 15-Jun-2005
The claimant appealed an order to be returned to Kosovo.
Held: As the son of a gypsy mother and and an Albanian father. As such, he would face persecution if returned if his mixed race parentage became known. If order to return he would be . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 05 July 2022; Ref: scu.215833