In Re M-L- (BIA 2008)

Alexander Joseph Segal

Case Conclusion Date:April 21, 2008

Practice Area:Immigration

Outcome:Remanded to the IJ where the CAT relief was granted.

Description:Respondent, national of Pakistan, with serious criminal record, petitioned immigration court for relief under the UN Convention Against Torture. The IJ denied, finding that the indirect involvement of the corrupt Pakistani police officer was not sufficient to justify granting the CAT relief where the statute, in the IJ's opinion, required more direct participation of the government. BIA reversed, holding that the IJ applied incorrect legal standard in light of the then recent decision of the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in Khouzam v. Ashcroft 361 F. 3d 171 (2nd Cir 2004), wherein the Court held that CAT relief did not require "consent and approval" by the government of the country in question in order to constitute "instigation" required by the Convention. Citing the Court's holding in Khouzam, the Board held that to constitute instigation, government officials acting in official capacity need only "know of or remain willfully blind to an act and thereafter breach their legal responsibility to prevent it."