Reinald v OFPRA

JurisdictionFrance
CourtRefugee Appeal Tribunal (France)
France, Refugee Appeal Tribunal.

(Heilbronner, Conseiller d'Etat, President, Fournier and Taviani)

Reinald
and
OFPRA1

The individual in international law Aliens Admission of Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951 Fugitives leaving their country of origin with national passports and entry clearances for Israel Refusal to settle in Israel and accept Israeli nationality Renewal of national passports in Israel with a view to travelling to France to seek asylum Whether Israel a country of asylum in such circumstances Whether renewal of national passports amounting to voluntarily re-availing themselves of the protection of their country of nationality Article 1C(1) of the Convention The law of France

Summary: The facts:The appellants, a married couple, left their country of origin bearing national passports and entry clearances (visas d'tablissement) valid for their settlement in Israel. They travelled to Israel where they refused to settle and to acquire nationality but remained for the period necessary to meet the costs of their travel and then applied for admission to France. Whilst in Israel they applied to the representatives of the government of their country of origin for the extension of the period of validity of their passports. Their applications were granted. They then travelled to France where the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) refused to recognize them as refugees. This decision was based on two grounds: (1) that they had already obtained refuge in Israel and (2) that by obtaining the extension of their passports they had voluntarily re-availed themselves of the protection of the country of their nationality within the meaning of Article 1(C)(1) of the Geneva Refugees Convention of 1951. They appealed to the Refugee Appeal Tribunal.

Held:The decision of the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons was annulled.

In the circumstances of the case Israel was not a country of asylum for the couple. The fact that whilst in Israel they had asked for and obtained extensions of the validity of their passports did not constitute re-availment of the protection of their country of origin.

The following is the text of the decision of the Tribunal:

Appeals Nos. 8.650 and 8.651 by the Reinald spouses raise the same question and it would be right to join them in order that they may be adjudged in a single decision.

By virtue of paragraph A(2) of Article 1 of the Geneva Convention...

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