RT (Zimbabwe) and Others v Secretary of State for The Home Department: CA 18 Nov 2010

The apellants had sought asylum from Zimbabwe. They appealed against rejection of their claims, saying that it was wrong to require them to return to a place where hey would have to dissemble as to their political beliefs.
Held: The appeals succeeded. Carnwath LJ said that if individuals are ‘forced to lie about their absence of political beliefs, solely in order to avoid persecution, that seems to us to be covered by the HJ (Iran) principle, and does not defeat their claims to asylum’.
As to RT, the court said that the Upper Tribunal had not addressed the critical issue raised by RN since: ‘It is not enough that she would be able to ‘explain’ her lack of political activity abroad. The question is whether she would be forced to lie in order to profess loyalty to the regime, and whether she could prove it. Since she was found to be generally credible, there is no other reason to hold that she has failed to prove her case.’
For SM, the court said of para 23 of the decision of the AIT that: ‘it was not enough to hold that she would be willing to lie ‘as and when required’, if the reason for doing so would be to avoid persecution. Nor is willingness to lie the same as ability to prove loyalty to the regime. On the other hand, in view of her lack of credibility overall, it remains open to question whether her case should fail for lack of proof as in [TM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWCA Civ 916]. We will therefore allow the appeal and remit the case to the Upper Tribunal for redetermination.’
For AM, ‘As in the first case, the issue was not simply whether the appellant could ‘account for’ his absence in the UK. The judge failed to address the issue as to his ability to show his loyalty to the regime. Unlike RT, he has not been held to be a credible witness. Accordingly, as in the case of SM, we do not feel able to substitute our own conclusion on this issue. We will therefore allow the appeal and remit the case to the Upper Tribunal.’


Carnwath, Lloyd, Sullivan LJJ


[2010] EWCA Civ 1285, [2011] Imm AR 259, [2011] INLR 217




England and Wales


CitedHJ (Iran) v Secretary of State for The Home Department; HT (Cameroon) v Same SC 7-Jul-2010
The claimants sought to prevent their removal and return to their countries of origin saying that as practising homosexuals they would face discrimination and persecution. They appealed against a judgment saying that they could avoid persecution by . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromRT (Zimbabwe) and Others v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 25-Jul-2012
The claimants said it would be wrong to return them to Zimbabwe where they would be able to evade persecution only by pretending to a loyalty to, and enthusiasm for the current regime.
Held: The Secretary of State’s appeals failed. The HJ . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 26 August 2022; Ref: scu.426037