Refugees Amendment Act
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2 No. 39234 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 25 September 2015 Act No. 10 of 2015 Refugees Amendment Act, 2015
GENERAL EXPLANATORY NOTE:
[ ] Words in bold type in square brackets indicate omissions from existing enactments.
Words underlined with a solid line indicate insertions in existing enactments.
ACT To amend the Refugees Act, 1998, so as to confer a discretion upon the Refugee Appeals Authority to allow the public and the media access to its proceedings in appropriate cases; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
BE IT ENACTED by the Parliament of the Republic of South Africa,as follows:— Amendment of section 21 of Act 130 of 1998, as amended by section 13 of Act 33 of 2008
1. Section 21 of the Refugees Act, 1998 (Act No. 130 of 1998), (hereinafter referred to as ‘‘the principal Act’’), is hereby amended by the substitution for subsection (5) of the following subsection:
‘‘(5) The confidentiality of asylum applications and the information contained therein must be ensured at all times, except that the Refugee Appeals Authority may, on application and on conditions it deems fit, allow any person or the media to attend or report on its hearing if— (a) the asylum seeker gives consent; or (b) the Refugee Appeals Authority concludes that it is in the public interest to
allow any person or the media to attend or report on its hearing, after taking into account all relevant factors, including—
(i) the interests of the asylum seeker in retaining confidentiality; (ii) the need to protect the integrity of the asylum process; (iii) the need to protect the identity and dignity of the asylum seeker; (iv) whether the information is already in the public domain; (v) the likely impact of the disclosure on the fairness of the proceedings
and the rights of the asylum seeker; and (vi) whether allowing any person or the media access to its proceedings
or allowing the media to report thereon would pose a credible risk to the life or safety of the asylum seeker or of his or her family, friends or associates.’’
(English text signed by the President) (Assented to 23 September 2015)
4 No. 39234 GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 25 September 2015 Act No. 10 of 2015 Refugees Amendment Act, 2015
2. The reference to ‘‘RefugeeAppealsAuthority’’ in section 21(5) of the principalAct as amended by section 1 of this Act must be construed as a reference to the ‘‘Refugee Appeal Board’’ as provided for in the principal Act until such time that section 11 of the Refugees Amendment Act, 2008 (Act No. 33 of 2008), comes into operation.
Short title and commencement
3. ThisAct is called the RefugeesAmendmentAct, 2015, and comes into operation on 27 September 2015.