'The ring of truth': A case study of credibility Assessment in particular social group refugee determinations

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Refugee Law, 2009, 21 (1), pp. 1 - 33
Issue Date:
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Credibility assessment has always been a major issue in refugee determinations and its importance increases in the context of widespread introduction of 'fast-track' processes and the manifest trans-national trend to truncate (or indeed remove) avenues for review. This article explores the practice of credibility assessment in lower level tribunals using a case study of over 1000 particular social group (PSG) ground decisions made on the basis of sexual orientation over the past fifteen years. Credibility played an increasingly major role in claim refusals, and negative credibility assessments were not always based on well-reasoned or defensible grounds. The article uses this specific case study in order to found recommendations for structural and institutional change aimed at improving more generally the credibility assessment process in refugee determinations. © The Author (2009). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
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