Human Rights and Equality Commission Granted Role in Significant Supreme Court Case on Revocation of Irish Citizenship

 Commission to Exercise Amicus Curiae Role in Court Case

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (‘the Commission’) has today been granted the role of amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’) in a high-profile Supreme Court case (Ali Charaf Damache v the Minister for Justice and Equality) which is to focus on the process under which Irish citizenship can be revoked.

The case will question the lawfulness of the procedure to revoke citizenship as set out under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956, and specifically section 19 of that law.

Owing to the significance of this case, it will now be considered by the Supreme Court under an expedited process.

The case will look specifically at the process around citizenship revocation, and questions of procedural safeguards, as well as consequences of loss of citizenship in relation to an individual’s other rights.

It is understood that the outcome of this case may have an effect on at least forty other similar matters.

Mr Damache, a naturalised Irish citizen is currently serving a sentence in the United States related to assisting a terrorist conspiracy. In October 2018 the Minister for Justice and Equality informed Mr. Damache of his intention to revoke his Irish citizenship.

Laurence Bond, Director of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission stated:

“The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission in exercising its role as amicus curiae is seeking to assist the Supreme Court in relation to its consideration of the constitutionality of the procedure to revoke citizenship under Irish law.   

“In particular the Commission will seek to assist the Court on questions of procedural safeguards around the Ministerial decision-making to revoke a person’s Irish citizenship.”

ENDS/

For further information, please contact:

Brian Dawson, IHREC Communications Manager,

01 8589601 / 087 0697095

bdawson@ihrec.ie

Follow us on twitter @_IHREC

Editor’s Note

As the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is now formally involved in this proceeding, we are precluded from making any further comment as the matters are before the Supreme Court.

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 www.ihrec.ie after the case has been heard.

The amicus curiae function of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission

The Commission’s functions under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 include that of applying for liberty to appear as an amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’) before the superior courts in proceedings that involve, or are concerned with, the human rights or equality rights of any person.

Section 10 of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act sets out the functions of the Commission and Section 10(2)(e) provides that the IHREC shall have a function:

“to apply to the High Court or the Supreme Court for liberty to appear before the High Court or the Supreme Court, as the case may be, as amicus curiae in proceedings before that Court that involve or are concerned with the human rights or equality rights of any person and to appear as such an amicus curiae on foot of such liberty being granted (which liberty each of the said courts is hereby empowered to grant in its absolute discretion).”

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.

 

 

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