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IHREC studies SC ruling in deportation case
Chief Justice Donal O’Donnell

17 Nov 2023 / courts Print

IHREC studies SC ruling in deportation case

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) says that it is studying closely a recent Supreme Court decision in a case that centred on the extent to which non-citizens may rely on the rights guaranteed by the Constitution when subject to deportation orders.

The commission had been joined to the case as an amicus curiae (‘friend of the court’).

The case involved a non-national man, the father of children lawfully resident in the State, who is subject to a deportation order.

The family asserted that the Minister for Justice had a duty to consider the constitutional rights of the father when making such an order, and the rights of his children to his care and company.

‘Meaningful relationship’

IHREC had submitted that the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution were based on the essential humanity of all people, and could be relied on by all citizens and non-citizens when they are within the jurisdiction of the State or subject to its powers.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court concluded that the applicant father had not established that he had a meaningful relationship with his children, such as would give rise to an impermissible interference with his and/or their rights in the event that he was deported.

Chief Justice O’Donnell (pictured) said: “It would require exceptional considerations of particular weight to prevent the State from requiring a non-citizen, whose presence in Ireland was unlawful, to leave the State, having regard to the weight that must be accorded to the fundamental interests of the State in maintaining its capacity to control entry to and exit from the State.”

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