Human Rights and Equality Commission Notes Ruling Regarding Case Where DPP Decided Not to Prosecute

Commission Exercised Amicus Role in Court of Appeal Case

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (‘the Commission’) in its role as an amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’) has today noted the Court of Appeal’s ruling in the case of Ali Charaf Damache v the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) & Others.

In May 2015 the High Court refused the request for Mr Damache’s extradition to the United States on terrorism related offences on the basis that there was a real risk that his human rights would be breached if sent to stand trial there, as he risked being exposed to a protracted period of solitary confinement in the US prison system.

The High Court further held that there was an obligation on the DPP to consider the issue of jurisdictional forum, in the context of whether another EU Member State had jurisdiction to try Mr Damache on the basis of the alleged facts.

The Court of Appeal decided today that the High Court had overstepped the bounds of its jurisdiction as this matter was not a ground upon which Mr Damache had been granted leave to challenge the DPP.  The Court of Appeal thus set aside the High Court judgment insofar as it related to this issue.

Mr Damache was detained by the authorities in Spain in 2015, and was extradited to the United States from there in 2017.

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

The Commission’s written submissions are available at the following link:

Ali Charaf Damache v the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) & Others

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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