Adam v Minister for Justice

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeMrs Justice McGuninness,Hardiman J.
Judgment Date05 Apr 2001
Neutral Citation[2001] IESC 38
Docket Number[S.C. No. 341 of 2000]

[2001] IESC 38

THE SUPREME COURT

Murray, J.

McGuinness, J.

Hardiman, J.

Record No. 341/00
Record No. 28/01 and 32/01
ADAM & ORS v. MINISTER FOR JUSTICE EQUALITY & LAW REFORM & ORS

Between

TOMA ADAMS, CONSTANTI GOCIU, MARIA GRIGORE, ALEXANDRUIONSESCU, CIPRIAN IONESCU, SEBASTIAN LUCA, GEORGETTA LUBASCU, IONELLUPASCU, LIVIU-EMIL LUPESCU, ELENA MANCI, MIHAI GIEVE, STEFANTIAMOCIANU, GABRIEL BUZDUGAN, DAVID MIRCEA NATANEL, MINOR OLTEANU, ATTILAPAJZOS, VASSILI PAJZOS, MARIUS CORNEL PONZEAU, AUREL POPA, CRISTINAPOPA, NULA POPA, NICOLETA POPA, MIKI VYLY SZASZ, IOAN TIMARU, DANIELNELU VIAS, DANIEL MURASAN, ARGINT MUGUREL, ION SEVAN, VIOREL MATEI, DANLUCA, IVAN MANUELA, OCTAVIAN GRIEL DANCI, VALERIU SAVIN, VASILE MARGARETLABASCU, MIRAMAR DOBRA, MIRCEA DOBRA
AND BY ORDER
MARINA GOCIU, LIVIU-EMIL LUPESCU, MIHAI TRIFAN, STELUTASERBAN, LUCIENI GIORGILA, ELVIS WIZI, MICHELA WIZI, MIHAI MATEL IONELMILITARU, MARIAN CHIRIAC, MARCU FLORIN, CLUDIA FLORIN GOGA, LIOUDMYLAMASLOVA AND DIMITRI MASLOVA
APPLICANTS

AND

THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE, EQUALITY AND REFORM, IRELANDANDTHE ATTORNEY GENERAL
RESPONDENTS

AND

ADAM & ORS v. MINISTER FOR JUSTICE EQUALITY & LAW REFORM & ORS

BETWEEN

FLORIN IORDACHE
APPLICANT

AND

THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE, EQUALITY AND REFORM, IRELANDANDTHE ATTORNEY GENERAL
RESPONDENTS

Citations:

TOMA ADAM V MIN FOR JUSTICE UNREP O'DONOVAN 16.11.2000

FLORIN IODACHE V MIN FOR JUSTICE UNREP MORRIS 30.1.2001

CONSTITUTION ART 29.3.4

CONSTITUTION ART 40.3

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS 1951

RSC O.19 r28

VOLUNTARY PURCHASING V INSURCO LTD 1995 2 ILRM 145

IMMIGRATION ACT 1999 S3

CONSTITUTION ART 29.4.1

BARRY V BUCKLEY 1981 IR 306

RSC O.84

G V DPP 1994 1 IR 374

ADAMS V DPP UNREP KELLY 12.4.2000

IRISH PERMANENT BUILDING SOCIETY V CALDWELL 1979 ILRM 273

LANDERS V GARDA SIOCHANA COMPLAINTS BOARD 1997 3 IR 347

TREATY ON EUROPEAN UNION TITLE 1

KEEGAN, STATE V STARDUST COMPENSATION TRIBUNAL 1986 IR 642

O'KEEFFE V BORD PLEANALA 1993 1 IR 39

O LAIGHLEIS, IN RE 1960 IR 93

DOYLE V COMMISSIONER OF GARDA SIOCHANA 1991 1 IR 249

HOGAN & MORGAN ADMINISTRATIVE LAW IN IRELAND 708–709

HUGHES, STATE V O'HANRAHAN 1986 ILRM 218

SAVAGE'S APPLICATION, RE 1991 NI 103

LEWIS JUDICIAL REVIEW IN PUBLIC LAW 283 PARA 9–060

DE SMITH, WOLFE & JOWELL JUDICIAL REVIEW OF ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION 667 PARA 15.025

R V SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT EX PARTE CHINOY 1991 COD 381

R V SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT EX PARTE TURGUT 2001 AER 719

RSC O.19

SCHMIDT V HOME SECRETARY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM UNREP MURPHY 19.1.1994

R V HOME SECRETARY EX PARTE SHOLOLA 1992 COD 226

BAKER V NOEL 1971 1 WLR 803

FINNUCANE V MCMAHON 1990 ILRM 505

CONSTITUTION ART 29.4.1

Synopsis

Aliens

Aliens; judicial review procedure in asylum applications; applicants had been granted leave to seek judicial review of respondents decision to issue deportation orders against them; High Court had subsequently issued order discharging order granting leave and striking out proceedings as disclosing no reasonable cause of action; whether High Court or Supreme Court on appeal has jurisdiction to set aside an order granting leave to seek judicial review of a decision; whether the courts enjoy an inherent jurisdiction to strike out an order granting leave to seek judicial review; whether applicants had in their original statement of grounds and affidavits made out a stateable or arguable case for relief sought by way of judicial review; whether proceedings disclose any reasonable cause of action or are frivolous, vexatious or doomed to fail;

Held: Appeal dismissed; order of High Court affirmed; jurisdiction to be exercised sparingly.

Adam v. Min for Justice - Supreme Court: Hardiman J., McGuinness J., Murray J. - 05/04/2001 - [2001] 3 IR 53 - [2001] 2 ILRM 452

The applicants, a group of Romanian nationals, had been granted leave to apply for judicial review in respect of their applications for refugee status. The Minister for Justice sought to have the order granting leave discharged. On behalf of the Minister it was claimed that some of the applicants had already been granted refugee status. In addition it was contended that there was no evidence that the applications for asylum had been dealt with unfairly. In the High Court O'Donovan J in the Adam proceedings held that due to the differing nature of the cases of the applicants it had been inappropriate to include them in one set of proceedings. The respondent were not obliged to take account of the European Convention of Human Rights in assessing applications for asylum but was bound to comply with the principles of natural and constitutional justice and the relevant provisions of the Refugee Act, 1996. There was no evidence before the court which would warrant interfering with the decision-making process in question. Pursuant to the inherent jurisdiction of the court the original order granting the applicants leave would be discharged. Mr. Justice Morris subsequently dismissed the Iordache proceedings. The applicants appealed to the Supreme Court on the basis that the High Court did not have the inherent jurisdiction to set aside the grant of leave to seek judicial review. It was argued that in the case of judicial review a filtering process was already in existence in that leave to seek judicial review was not granted if the proceedings were frivolous. Mrs. Justice McGuinness held that the High Court had the jurisdiction to set aside an order granting leave which should only be exercised sparingly. If leave to seek judicial review was discharged then an appeal would lie to the Supreme Court. There was no evidence that the appropriate procedures regarding the applications for asylum had not been complied with and the appeals would be dismissed. Mr. Justice Hardiman held that the applicants proceedings were vexatious and doomed to failure. There was no jurisdiction to grant an order compelling the Irish State to institute proceedings against Romania as external relations were governed by the Executive. It was improper to have joined such a large number of applicants in the proceedings with an attempt to distinguish their individual circumstances. The appeals should be dismissed. Mr. Justice Murray concurred with both judgments.

1

Mrs Justice McGuninnessdelivered the 5th day of April 2001

2

These are two appeals in judicial review proceedings from orders made by the High Court striking out the proceedings as disclosing no reasonable cause of action and discharging prior orders giving leave to issue the proceedings. The appeals have been heard together in accordance with an order made by the learned President of the High Court on the 30th day of January 2001. The appeals raise similar issues for determination by thisCourt.

3

The first appeal, in the proceedings Toma Adam and Others v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and Others(referred to for convenience hereafter as the "TomaAdam proceedings"), arises from a judgment and order of O'Donovan J. made the 16th November 2000. The second appeal in the proceedings Florin Iordache v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and Others (the "Iordacheproceedings") arises from a judgment and order of the learned President of the High Court dated the 30th January 2001.

The Proceedings
(i) The Toma Adam proceedings
4

In the Toma Adam proceedings the High Court (Kinlen J.) granted leave to apply for judicial review by order made the 24th January 2000. The Applicants were stated to be persons who apprehended that they would be deported from the State and they were given leave to seek the followingreliefs:

5

2 "1 An Order of Certiorari quashing any deportation orders made by the first Respondent as the grounds upon which any such orders were made were in breach of Article 29(3)(4) Article 40.3 (sic) of the Constitution in disregard of the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights 1951 and in breach of natural and constitutional justice.

6

2. An Order of Mandamus directing the Respondents to consider the Applicants claims for asylum humanitarian leave to remain in Ireland or refugee status having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights 1951 and the current status of Romania vis-a-vis the saidConvention."

7

At the time the Applicants had also sought an order of Mandamus compelling the second and third named Respondents to institute proceedings against Romania under the provisions of the EuropeanConvention on Human Rights, but the learned High Court judge refused leave for them to seek this relief.

8

On the 27th June 2000 the Respondents filed a statement of opposition. At the same time the Respondents by notice of motion sought the following orders:

9

2 "1. An order discharging the order of this Honourable Court made on the 24th January 2000 whereby the Applicants were given leave to apply for judicial review in respect of the reliefs, and on the grounds, set out in the said order:

10

2. Further or in the alternative an order pursuant to Order 19 Rule 28 of the Rules of the Superior Courts or, in the alternative, pursuant to the inherent jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, striking out or dismissing the Applicants proceedings herein on the grounds that the said proceedings disclose no reasonable cause of action against the Respondents or any of them, the said proceedings are frivolous and/or vexatious and the said proceedings are doomed to fail."

11

Both the statement of opposition and the notice of motion were grounded on the affidavit of Michael Quinn, an Assistant Principal Officer in the Asylum Division of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, sworn on 26th June 2000.

12

Subsequent to the issue of the Respondents" notice of motion the solicitor for the Applicants, Mr Pendred, filed a replying affidavit sworn on the 21st July 2000. In addition, on dates between 6th September 2000 and 9th October 2000 each...

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