Re Sidibe Harouna

CourtHigh Court (Hong Kong)
Judgment Date19 June 2019
Neutral Citation[2019] HKCFI 1387
Judgement NumberHCAL451/2017
Subject MatterConstitutional and Administrative Law Proceedings


[2019] HKCFI 1387





NO 451 OF 2017


Re: Sidibe Harouna Applicant


Before: Deputy High Court Judge Josiah Lam in Chambers

Date of Hearing: 17 September 2018

Date of Decision: 19 June 2019





1. The Applicant seeks leave to appeal out of time against the order made by Deputy High Court Judge Woodcock on 24 November 2017 in relation to his application for leave for judicial review in HCAL451/2017.

2. The Applicant is a national of Mali. He came to Hong Kong as visitor on 27 June 2011. He overstayed from 28 July 2011. He was arrested by the police on 6 March 2012. Then he lodged a non-refoulement claim.

3. The Applicant said he fled Africa because his parents were Christians and they defied the African tradition of worshipping the Oracle. The Applicant was the first son in the family so he had to be sacrificed to the Oracle in the sense that he had to dedicate himself to worship the Oracle for his entire family. The Applicant said the Oracle had haunted him. He thought he could only get rid of it by leaving Africa.

4. In the ensuing two-tier screening process here, the Director of Immigration (“the Director”) and the Torture Claims Appeal Board/Non-refoulement Claims Petition Office (“TCAB/NCPO” or simply “the Board”) respectively refused the Applicant’s claim with respect to all the four applicable grounds: (i) risk of torture,[1] (ii) risk of persecution,[2] (iii) risk of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (BOR3 risk)[3] and (iv) risk of violation of the right to life (BOR2 risk)[4].

5. The Applicant filed an application for leave for judicial review on 25 July 2017, naming the Board as the putative respondent.

6. Deputy High Court Judge Woodcock (“the Judge”) heard the Applicant on 6 November 2017.

7. On 24 November 2017, the Judge gave her decision. She found the Applicant's application for leave for judicial review was out of time. [The Board's decision was dated 31 March 2017 and the Applicant only applied for leave for judicial review on 25 July 2017. Excluding the three-month grace period for filing, the Applicant was 25 days late.] The Judge found the Applicant had no good reason for his delay.

8. The Applicant also admitted to the Judge that he had no grounds for seeking leave for judicial review.

9. On 24 November 2017, the Judge dismissed the Applicant's application for leave for judicial review. The Applicant did not appeal against the Judge’s decision within 14 days.[5]

Grounds of application for extension of time

10. On 3 September 2018, the Applicant took out a summons asking for extension of time to appeal against the Judge’s decision. He said in his affirmation that he did not know the procedure. A friend briefed him on how to appeal. The Applicant said he was not satisfied with the Judge’s decision.

11. I heard the Applicant on 17 September 2018. He was in person. He said he did not know he had to file his appeal within 14 days from the Judge’s decision.

12. The Applicant was told he had to state his grounds of appeal by pointing out the Judge’s mistakes (if any) to demonstrate he had a reasonable prospect of success in his intended appeal. The Applicant could only provide a one-page statement in court. In that statement, the Applicant just briefly repeated his claim of fear and his dissatisfaction of the Judge’s decision. He could not specify any error committed by the Judge.


13. In considering whether to extend time for appealing against an order to refuse leave for judicial review, the court will have regard to: (i) the length of delay; (ii) the reasons for the delay; (iii) the prospect of the intended appeal; and (iv) the prejudice to the putative respondent if extension of time was granted.[6]

14. The Applicant should file his appeal...

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