Commission Granted Supreme Court Role in Family Rights and Deportation Case

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (the ‘Commission’) has today been given permission by the Supreme Court to appear as amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’) in a case that concerns the consideration of fundamental rights in the context of deportation orders.

The case (GO v. Minister for Justice) explores whether and to what extent, when deciding to deport a foreign national parent of children lawfully resident in the State, the Minister for Justice should expressly refer to and consider the possible infringement of constitutional rights that such a decision would entail.

In the appeal, the Supreme Court will consider whether the test applied by the High Court – that there must be a “meaningful involved relationship” between the parent and children concerned before a breach of constitutional rights would arise for consideration – accurately reflects Irish law.

The power to apply to the High Court, Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court for permission to appear as amicus curiae is an important legal power of the Commission. It allows the Commission to address the court in a non-partisan role on issues concerning human rights and equality that may have wider consequences for society in general. The Commission has previously used this legal power in other important immigration cases including the cases of NHV, Luximon & Balchand, Damache, MAM and KN, MKFS, and UM v Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Sinéad Gibney, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission stated:

“We welcome the opportunity to assist the Supreme Court in relation to the human rights issues raised by this important immigration law case.

“The Court’s decision will speak to the Minister’s obligation to consider the constitutional rights, and in particular the family rights, of people faced with being separated from family members lawfully resident in Ireland by deportation.”

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Clarkin, IHREC Communications Manager,
01 852 9641 / 087 468 7760
Follow us on twitter @_IHREC

Editor’s Note

As the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is now formally involved in the proceedings of the GO v. Minister for Justice case before the Supreme Court we will make no further comment at this time.

Where written submissions are made by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to the superior Courts in amicus curiae cases they will be made available on after the case has been heard.

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is an independent public body, appointed by the President and directly accountable to the Oireachtas. The Commission has a statutory remit set out under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act (2014) to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland, and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s national human rights institution and is recognised as such by the United Nations. The Commission is also Ireland’s national equality body for the purpose of a range of EU anti-discrimination measures.