• Jiji


A Japanese high court ruling that Japanese immigration authorities’ decision to deport two Sri Lankan men without allowing them to take legal action after they were denied refugee status was unconstitutional officially became final on Thursday.

Both the government and the plaintiffs did not file an appeal against the Tokyo High Court’s decision before the deadline on Wednesday.

According to a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, this is the first court decision in Japan that has found that immigration authorities’ actions in a deportation case were unconstitutional.

The two men were detained at an immigration facility in December 2014 after their applications for refugee status were turned down, according to the ruling and other sources.

Even though the two men intended to file a lawsuit to call for a reversal of their application rejection, they were sent back to Sri Lanka the day after they were informed that their subsequent objection had been dismissed.

On Sept. 22 this year, the high court recognized that the immigration authorities had intentionally delayed notifying them of the dismissal although the rejection decision had been issued over 40 days before that.

In light of the immigration authorities’ conduct being found unconstitutional and them essentially depriving the two men of an opportunity to undergo a judicial review of their rejection as refugees, the court ordered the state to pay a total of ¥600,000 in compensation.

As an appeal in a civil lawsuit is accepted under limited circumstances, the central government had decided that it would be difficult to file an appeal.

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