27 Nov 2013

Judge's decision "flawed" in Kiribati climate change case

11:40 am on 27 November 2013

The lawyer for a Kiribati man who is seeking refugee status because of the effects of global warming says a judge's decision against him is flawed.

Ioane Teitiota, who is facing deportation after overstaying his visa, has been denied leave to appeal against an Immigration and Protection Tribunal decision at the High Court in Auckland.

Part of Justice Priestley's ruling says Mr Teitiota does not meet the criteria for refugee status because he is not being persecuted by anyone.

His lawyer, Michael Kidd, says the decision is a mistake.

"If a nuclear bomb went off near Kiribati and everyone in Kiribati had to leave because of radiation, if you follow the judge's reasoning, because it's not really an act of war and no one's persecuting the people as such, then they wouldn't be able to get refugee status even though their islands would become unliveable."

Michael Kidd says he is considering appealing against the decision.