Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission to Assist Court in Family Reunification Cases

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (‘the Commission’) has today (Thursday) been granted liberty by the Court of Appeal to appear as amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’) in two cases involving family reunification for naturalised refugees.

The two cases raise significant human rights issues. In both, the Minister for Justice and Equality refused applications for family reunification from persons granted refugee status under the Refugee Act 1996 saying that, as the Applicants had both become naturalised Irish citizens, they were no longer entitled to “refugee” family reunification.

As amicus curiae, the Commission will assist the Court of Appeal by making submissions on the right to family reunification, on naturalised refugees and on best practice internationally in the field of human rights.

Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission stated:

“We welcome today’s decision by the Court of Appeal to grant the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission leave to intervene as amicus curiae in these significant cases, which involve the right of naturalised refugees to family reunification.

“As Ireland’s National Human Rights Institution the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has taken a leading role in using our statutory powers and independent status to provide an experience-based international human rights perspective in legal cases where significant policy issues arise. We will continue this work to support the development of a society in which there is respect for and protection of everyone’s human rights.”

           

ENDS/

 

For further information, please contact:

Jean O’Mahony, Head of Strategic Engagement

01 8589601 / 087 6214675

jomahony@ihrec.ie

Follow us on twitter @_IHREC

 

Editor’s Note

As the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is now formally involved in the proceedings MAM v. The Minister for Justice and Equality and KN and Ors v. The Minister for Justice and Equality, which are currently listed in the Court of Appeal for hearing on 27 November 2018, we can make no further comment.  Our written submissions to the Court will be made available on www.ihrec.ie after the appeal 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 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 persons.

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 persons 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 was set up on 1 November 2014 as an independent public body to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding across Irish society.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Act 2014 sets out the functions of the Commission, i.e. to ensure that:

  • there is respect for, and protection of, everyone’s human rights;
  • there is respect for the dignity and worth of each person;
  • a person’s ability to achieve their potential is not limited by prejudice, discrimination, or neglect;
  • everyone has a fair and equal opportunity to take part in the economic, political, social or cultural life of the State; and
  • people respect each other, respect equality and human rights, and understand the value of diversity within society

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.

  • Facebook Share Icon
  • Twitter Share Icon