Additional temporary judicial manpower to clear backlog of non-refoulement claims

Local | 27 Jan 2021 7:08 pm

With an upsurge of the number of cases related to non-refoulement claims in recent years, authorities have sought more judicial manpower to handle the backlog of cases.

From 2018 to September 30 in 2020, there were 1,879 cases of leave applications for judicial reviews relating to non-refoulement claims filed with the Court of First Instance of the High Court, according to the Judiciary.

There were also 349 civil appeals relating to non-refoulement claims at the Court of Appeal of the High Court, and 199 leave applications for civil appeal relating to non-refoulement claims at the Court of Final Appeal.

Meanwhile, in view of legal aid applications in relation to non-refoulement claims, the Judiciary had received 1,500 applications in 2018, granting 46 of them. While in 2019, 71 of them were granted among 690 applocations.

“For those legal aid applications related to non-refoulement claims, among the applications refused, the majority of them were refused on merits,” said the Judiciary.

“As a matter of fact, the success rate for legal aid applications related to non-refoulement claims is quite low. From 2017 to 2019, the success rate for such cases was 4.6 percent, which accounted for only 0.84 percent of all successful civil legal aid cases.”

The Judiciary considers that the most efficient and effective way to cope with the heavy caseload relating to non-refoulement claims is to timely increase judicial manpower.As such, the Judiciary has no plan to set up any special court, extend court sitting hours, or arrange Saturday sittings for this purpose.

The Judiciary will continue to proactively implement the following measures to process, among others, non-refoulement claim cases more expeditiously

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