Question A.3, Political Law, 2019 Bar Exam

The Humanitarian Services Society (HSS), an international non-government organization, assisted the displaced families of Tribe X who had to flee their home country in order to escape the systematic persecution conducted against them by their country’s ruling regime based on their cultural and religious beliefs. Fearing for their lives, some of these displaced families, with the help of HSS, were able to sail out into the sea on a boat which eventually landed in Palawan. The Philippine Coast Guard intended to push back the boat with 15 passengers.

An affiliate of HSS in the Philippines intervened on behalf these displaced families, claiming that they are refugees under international law and hence, should not be expelled from our territory.

May the displaced families of Tribe X be considered "refugees" under international law? Explain. (3%)

Suggested Answer:

Yes. Answer

Under international law, a refugee is one who, owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it. Rule

In the case at bar, families of Tribe X were displaced to esc...

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