S v Minister for Justice and Equality  IEHC 34
This case came before Mr Justice Max Barrett at the High Court, who delivered his judgment on 29 January 2019. The facts are as follows. Mr S, a national of India, came to Ireland lawfully on a student visa in April 2013. In February 2015 he married a Latvian national and as such, he was granted permission to remain as the spouse of an EU national.
Mr S claimed that he was the recipient of domestic abuse from his wife, who in August 2016 had returned to her home country. He then sought permission to remain under the Victims of Domestic Violence Immigration Guidelines. This application was refused in December 2017 and while no absolute right of appeal existed, the Minister agreed to re-examine the initial decision - which he subsequently upheld in March 2018.
This case then arises by way of an application for certiorari of the Minister's decision. A summary of the contentions put forward by Mr S are as follows:
- His legitimate expectation to have the Guidelines applied to his case had been breached.
- The Minister's affirming decision was irrational and inconsistent.
- A breach of Articles 3, 8 and 14 of the ECHR have been sustained.
- His constitutional rights to privacy, dignity and equality have been breached.
- That the Minister erred in law.
- That the Minister acted unreasonably in failing to take relevant material into account.
- That the Minister acted in breach of constitutional fair procedures in failing to allow a transparent appeal.
Barrett J expressed the 'very considerable sympathy' of the court with Mr S as a past sufferer of domestic abuse, but declined the relief sought.
Call for submissions on direct provision and potential alternatives
The Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality has issued a call inviting written submissions from stakeholders and interested parties on the issues of direct provision and the international protection application process.
The Committee wishes to consider what can be done in the short-to-medium term to improve: (i) the welfare and conditions of people living in the direct provision system; (ii) efficiency of the current system of processing international protection claims, in order to bring policies, practices and laws into line with international best practice and standards.
The Committee also wishes to look to alternatives to the system of direct provision and consider whether other models could be pursued. Public hearings will be held on these issues on 22 May 2019, with a report to follow in the autumn.
Submissions should be in electronic format and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, accompanied by a separate covering letter which lists your name, address and contact number. Hard copies will not be accepted. Further guidelines on making submissions to the Houses of the Oireachtas can be found here.
The closing date for the receipt of submissions is Friday, 24 May 2019.
Note: This is not intended to be relied upon as legal advice. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.