Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Previously: Meanwhile, In The High Court

At the Supreme Court sitting in Limerick this morning

This morning.

The Supreme Court, sitting in Limerick, delivered a judgment about the extent of the rights of the unborn.

It followed an immigration case involving a Nigerian man, his Irish partner and their child, who was 20 days away from being born when the case began in May 2016.

The man wanted a deportation order made against him by the Department of Justice to be revoked and argued that the Minister for Justice had to consider an unborn child’s existing or prospective rights.

Mary Carolan, in The Irish Times, reports:

The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the unborn has no constitutional rights outside the right to life in the Eighth Amendment.

In a landmark judgment on Wednesday, the seven-judge court ruled the High Court was wrong to find the unborn has constitutional rights outside Article 40.3.3 and was also wrong to find the unborn is a child within the meaning of Article 42a.

However, it upheld findings by the High Court that the Minister for Justice is required to consider the prospective constitutional rights of an unborn child when considering whether or not to deport their non-Irish citizen parent.

The decision clarifies the constitutional position of the unborn in advance of this summer’s planned referendum on Article 40.3.3, which guarantees equal protection for the right to life of the unborn and its mother.

Supreme Court rules only constitutional right of unborn is right to life (The Irish Times)

Pics: RTE

The ruling can be read in full here

This afternoon.

Further to the Supreme Court’s unanimous finding in May that the ban preventing asylum seekers in Ireland for working is “in principle” unconstitutional…

Mary Carolan, in The Irish Times, reports:

“The Supreme Court has told the State it will make a formal declaration next February that the absolute ban preventing asylum seekers working here is unconstitutional.

“The five-judge court said on Thursday the declaration will be made on February 9th, irrespective of what progress the State has made towards addressing the court’s findings on the ban.

“…Nuala Butler SC, for the State, said the Government was in the process of opting into the EC Reception Directive, which contains a provision requiring member states to afford the right to work in certain circumstances, but the matter was complex with many issues requiring to be addressed.

She urged the court not to make a formal declaration of unconstitutionality today, saying it would lead to a “flood” of applications seeking permission to work.

“…Michael Lynn SC, for the Rohingya man who brought the successful challenge to the ban, said his side would prefer a declaration was made today but did not want to create “unnecessary obstacles” and the issue was for the court to decide.

“…The Rohingya man, aged in his thirties, spent eight years in direct provision before getting refugee status here last year. While offered work in his direct provision centre in 2013, he could not take that up due to the ban on seeking work.

“While in direct provision on a €19 weekly allowance, he suffered depression and “almost complete loss of autonomy”, he said. Being allowed to work was vital to his development, personal dignity and “sense of self worth”.”

Court to rule work ban for asylum seekers is unconstitutional (Mary Carolan, The Irish Times)

Further to the Supreme Court’s decision earlier today.

That the absolute ban prohibiting asylum seekers from work is unconstitutional.

And the court adjourning the matter for six months to allow the Oireachtas decide how to address the situation.

On the Human Rights In Ireland blog…

Law lecturer at University College Dublin Liam Thornton writes:

The ball is now firmly in the court of the Oireachtas. However, the Oireachtas must be reminded (contact your TD here), that they are not starting from a blank slate.

First, the Irish High Court has already ruled that maladministration in rendering of a lawful decision on a protection claim may result in damages being awarded to an asylum seeker. Therefore, whatever course of action the Oireachtas takes, lets get this right.

There has to be some focus on the ability of our quasi-judicial bodies who determine protection claims to do their work efficiently, but most importantly to be fair to asylum applicants.

Second, It would appear, that if Ireland became part of how European Union society deals with this question, then our Parliamentarians need to look no further than EU law for a solution to this constitutional protection of asylum seekers right to work.

The Recast Reception Directive (which Ireland is not bound by), provides asylum seekers a right to work should generally be granted after 9 months where a first instance decision has not been rendered on a refugee/protection claim. The McMahon Working Group on the Protection Process and Directive Provision made a recommendation  (para 5.49) that once the International Protection Act 2015 was operating efficiently, that Ireland abide by this 9-month rule.

Whatever the Oireachtas decide, this constitutional right of asylum seekers to have a freedom to enter employment must be effective, and not illusory (borrowing how the European Court of Human Rights insists on the realness of granted rights).

Asylum seekers and the right to work: The Supreme Court decision (Liam Thornton, Human Rights in Ireland blog)

Earlier: ‘Unconstitutional’

Earlier today.

In an unanimous decision.

The seven-judge Supreme Court ruled that the ban prohibiting asylum seekers from work is unconstitutional.

The challenge to the ban was taken by a man from Burma, who spent eight years in direct provision, after he was offered a job in 2013 but couldn’t accept it.

Last September, he was granted refugee status and, following that, the State had argued that his challenge be dismissed – given his new status allowed him to work – but the man, and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission urged the court to address the issue.

Mary Carolan, in The Irish Times, reports:

“The point has been reached when it cannot be said the legitimate differences between an asylum seeker and a citizen can continue to justify the exclusion of an asylum seeker from the possibility of employment,” [Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell] said.

This damage to the individual’s’ self worth and sense of themselves, is exactly the damage which the constitutional right [to seek employment] seeks to guard against.”

The evidence from the man of the depression, frustration and lack of self-belief at being unable to work “bears this out”, he added.

He said, in principle, he would be prepared to find, in circumstances where there is no temporal limit on the asylum process, the “absolute prohibiton” on seeking of employment in Section 9.4, and re-enacted in Section 16.3.b of the International Protection Act 2015, “is contrary to the constitutional right to seek employment”.

Because this situation arises because of the intersection of a number of statutory provisions, and could arguably be met by alteration of one or other of those, and since that was “first and foremost a matter for executive and legislative judgment” , the court would adjourn consideration of what form of order to make for six months, he said.

After that period elapsed, the court would hear submissions from the sides as to what form of order should be made “in the light of the circumstances then obtaining”.

Ban on asylum seekers working unconstitutional, says Supreme Court (The Irish Times)

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CEO OF Irish Mortgage Holders David Hall, Independents 4 Change TD Joan Collins, and Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy outside the Four Courts in Dublin this morning

Further to Independents 4 Change TD Joan Collins’ Supreme Court appeal against the constitutionality of the €31 billion promissory note [to pay Anglo, Irish Nationwide Building Society and Educational Building Society over 15 years from 2010]….

A reserved judgement means the court will review the details of the case and provide a written verdict at an unspecified future date.

Pic: Fiona Fitzpatrick

Gavin

Gavin Sheridan, of TheStory.ie

The FOI-inator Gavin Sheridan has been battling for five years to seek certain information in relation to NAMA.

Writing on thestory.ie last week, he explained:

“Back in February 2010, we sent a request to NAMA seeking certain information under the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations. NAMA had just been established. We sent a similar request to Anglo Irish Bank. Both rejected our requests on the basis that they did not see themselves as public authorities under those regulations. We disagreed.

“For 5 years the case has wound its way through the system, from a Commissioner ruling in September 2011 (which went in our favour), to High Court hearings in 2012 and two High Court judgments in early 2013 (the judge ruled against NAMA on both the substantive issue and on the issue of a stay, pending a Supreme Court appeal). We had to seek, and were granted, an expedited hearing after NAMA appealed both. There were almost two days of hearings in the Supreme Court in 2014, before five judges.”

“The issue to be decided, among others, is what the term “and includes” means in the Regulations, and whether NAMA/Anglo, by virtue of being listed in 3(1) under the definition of public authority at parts vi) and vii), are in fact public authorities.

“If the court rules as we believe it should, then NAMA becomes a public authority under AIE, and all bodies listed in parts i) to vii) of 3(1) of the Regulations become de facto public authorities (below), and we will finally have legal clarity.

(i) a Minister of the Government,

(ii) the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland,

(iii) a local authority for the purposes of the Local Government Act 2001 (No. 37 of 2001),

(iv) a harbour authority within the meaning of the Harbours Act 1946 (No. 9 of 1946),

(v) the Health Service Executive established under the Health Act 2004 (No. 42 of 2004),

(vi) a board or other body (but not including a company under the Companies Acts) established by or under statute,

(vii) a company under the Companies Acts, in which all the shares are held—

(I) by or on behalf of a Minister of the Government,

(II) by directors appointed by a Minister of the Government,

(III) by a board or other body within the meaning of paragraph (vi), or

(IV) by a company to which subparagraph (I) or (II) applies, having public administrative functions and responsibilities, and possessing environmental information;

Well, the judgment is in…

Fair play in fairness.

Read this morning’s judgment in full here

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This morning

Members of The Supreme Court….in Cork.

Paschal Sheehy tweetz:

Mrs Justice Susan Denham addressing the first sitting of the Supreme Court outside Dublin in the history of the State…

That podium pulls out into a bed where they all sleep during recess.

CNI
Finally! It’s here.

After 25 years of providing courts news to the press for publication, Courts News Ireland have taken the bold step of creating an online courts news service for all.

Brian Kavanagh of C.N.I. writes:

“We are immensely proud to announce the launch of our website, a dedicated online platform for courts news which breaks new ground in the Irish media market. It is our first foray in to the digital sphere and part of an ambitious plan to bring comprehensive coverage of the Irish courts to our clients and to the public at large. For the first time people will have real-time access to courts news as it breaks and full access to reports as they are filed by our outstanding network of seasoned reporters”. The website embodies Ireland International News Agency’s dedication to excellence in reportage.”

 

Home Alone is a movie, not an alibi, we’re informed.

Courts News Ireland

You decide, etc.

Yes, it’s new Supreme Court Judges, Justice John MacMenamin (left) and Justice Frank Clarke pictured in the main yard of the Four Courts literally moments ago after making their “constitutional declaration” in the Supreme Court.

(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)