Donnellan v Min for Justice and Others

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
JudgeMr. Justice William M. McKechnie
Judgment Date25 July 2008
Neutral Citation[2008] IEHC 467
Date25 July 2008
Docket NumberRecord No.3521 P 2008

[2008] IEHC 467

THE HIGH COURT

Record No.3521 P 2008
Donnellan v Min for Justice & Ors

BETWEEN

MARTIN DONNELLAN
PLAINTIFF

AND

THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE, EQUALITY AND LAW REFORM, THE COMMISSIONER OF AN GARDA SÍOCHÁ, IRELAND AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
DEFENDANTS

POLICE FORCES AMALGAMATION ACT 1925 S14

EQUALITY ACT 2004

POLICE FORCES AMALGAMATION ACT 1925 S14(1)(B)

GARDA SIOCHANA (RETIREMENT) (NO 2) REGS 1951 SI 335/1951 REG 6

GARDA SIOCHANA (RETIREMENT) REGS 1990 SI 318/1990 REG 3

GARDA SIOCHANA (RETIREMENT) REGS 1996 SI 16/1996 REG 3

GARDA SIOCHANA (RETIREMENT) REGS 1996 SI 16/1996 REG 4

GARDA SIOCHANA (RETIREMENT) (NO 2) REGS 2006 SI 686/2006 REG 2

GARDA SIOCHANA (RESERVE MEMBERS) REGS 2006 SI 413/2006 REG 10

GARDA SIOCHANA (RETIREMENT) (NO 2) REGS 1951 SI 335/1951 REG 6(B)

GARDA SIOCHANA (REPRESENTATIVE BODIES) REGS 1927 29.12.1927

GARDA SIOCHANA (ASSOCIATIONS) REGS 1978 SI 135/1978

GARDA SIOCHANA (ASSOCIATIONS) (SUPERINTENDENTS & CHIEF SUPERINTENDENTS) REGS 1987 SI 200/1987

CITYVIEW PRESS LTD & FOGARTY v AN CHOMHAIRLE OILIUNA & ORS 1980 IR 381

CASSIDY & ORS v MIN FOR INDUSTRY 1978 IR 297

KENNY, STATE v MIN FOR SOCIAL WELFARE & AG 1986 IR 693 1986/6/986

PHILIPS v MEDICAL COUNCIL & ORS 1991 2 IR 115 1991/5/1236

PURCELL v AG & ORS 1995 3 IR 287 1996 2 ILRM 153 1995/2/5432

MCHUGH v MIN FOR SOCIAL WELFARE & ORS 1994 2 IR 139

KEEGAN & LYSAGHT, STATE v STARDUST VICTIMS COMPENSATION TRIBUNAL 1986 IR 642 1987 ILRM 202

ASSOCIATED PROVINCIAL PICTURE HOUSES LTD v WEDNESBURY CORP 1948 1 KB 223 1947 2 AER 680

COUNCIL OF CIVIL SERVICE UNIONS & ORS v MIN FOR THE CIVIL SERVICE 1984 3 AER 935 1985 AC 374 1984 3 WLR 1174 1985 ICR 14

O'KEEFFE v BORD PLEANALA & O'BRIEN 1993 1 IR 39 1992 ILRM 237

AER RIANTA CPT v CMSR FOR AVIATION REGULATION UNREP O'SULLIVAN 16.1.2003 2003/1/141

GARDA SIOCHANA ACT 2005 S22

EEC DIR 2000/78 ART 6

BURKE & MCCARTHY v MIN FOR LABOUR & ORS 1979 IR 354

GORMAN & ORS v MIN FOR ENVIRONMENT & ORS 2001 2 IR 414 2001/11/2930

TREATY OF ROME ART 13

EEC DIR 2000/78 ART 1

EEC DIR 2000/78 ART 2

EEC DIR 2000/78 ART 3

EEC DIR 2000/78 ART 20

EEC DIR 2000/78 RECITAL 14

PALACIOS DE LA VILLA v CORTEFIEL SERVICIOS SA 2007 ECR I-8531 2008 1 CMLR 16 2008 AER (EC) 249

EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY ACT 1998 S2(3)

EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY ACT 1998 S37(4)

EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY ACT 1998 S25

EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY ACT 1998 S37(3)

EEC DIR 2000/78 RECITAL 25

MANGOLD v HELM 2005 ECR I-9981 2006 1 CMLR 43 2006 AER (EC) 383

EEC DIR 2000/78 RECITAL 18

EEC DIR 2000/78 ART 2(2)(A)

LINDORFER v COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION 2009 AER (EC) 569 2007 ECR I-6767

O CINNEIDE AGE DISCRIMINATION & EUROPEAN LAW 2005

PERRY v GARDA CMSR 24.9.2001 (EQUALITY OFFICERS DECISION DEC-E-2001-29)

EEC DIR 2000/78 ART 10(1)

EEC DIR 2000/78 ART 4

LAW v CANADA (MIN OF EMPLOYMENT & IMMIGRATION) 1999 1 SCR 497 170 DLR (4TH) 1

QANTAS AIRWAYS LTD v CHRISTIE 152 ALR 365 193 CLR 280 1998 HCA 18

MACDONALD v REGIONAL ADMINISTRATIVE SCHOOL UNIT NO 1 1992 16 CHRR D/409

EEC DIR 2000/78 ART 6(1)

BARTSCH v BOSCH UND SIEMENS HAUSGERATE (BSH) ALTEREDSFURSORGE GMBH 2009 AER (EC) 113 2008 ECR I-7245 2009 1 CMLR 5

DEPT OF TRADE & INDUSTRY (UK) EQUALITY & DIVERSITY: AGE MATTERS 2003

HAMPTON v LORD CHANCELLOR & ANOR 2008 IRLR 258 ET/2300835/2007

16 PILOTS v MARTINAIR HOLLAND NV & VERENIGING VAN NEDERLANDSE VERKEERSVLIEGERS UNREP 8.10.2004 (NR C03/077HR)

MASSACHUSETTS BOARD OF RETIREMENT v MURGIA 1976 427 US 307

KIMEL v FLORIDA BOARD OF REGENTS 2000 528 US 62

CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS & FREEDOMS S32(1)

MCKINNEY v UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH & ANOR 1990 3 SCR 229

R (CARSON) v SECRETARY OF STATE FOR WORK & PENSIONS 2006 1 AC 173 2005 2 WLR 1369 2005 4 AER 545

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS & FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS ART 14

HUMAN RIGHTS ACT 1998 (UK)

EMPLOYMENT

Discrimination

Age - Garda Síochána - Assistant Commissioner - Compulsory retirement on age grounds - Whether regulations reducing retirement age ultra vires - Whether regulations incompatible with European directive - Ministerial power to make regulations - Capability of plaintiff - Whether regulations irrational and unreasonable - Whether regulations made without engaging in due consultative process - Changes in circumstances since introduction of regulations - Whether manifest arbitrariness - Reasons for age change - Motivation of lower ranks - Creation of competitive pool of candidates - Avoidance of blockage - Garda leadership - Skill and experience of plaintiff - Sophisticated policing methods - Increased life expectancy - Justification for age reduction - Absence of empirical evidence - Application of Directive to gardaí - Whether compulsory retirement age constituted direct discrimination - Whether difference in treatment objectively and reasonably justified - Comparator - Whether genuine and determining occupational requirement - Whether aimed at preserving operational capacity - Whether justified by legitimate aim - Requirement of proportionality - Availability of request for extension of tenure - Form of individual assessment - Cityview Press Ltd & Fogarty v An Chomhairle Oiliuna & Or [1980] IR 381; Cassidy v Minister For Industry [1978] IR 297; State (Kenny) v Minister for Social Welfare [1986] IR 693; Philips v Medical Council [1991] 2 IR 115; Purcell v Attorney General [1995] 3 IR 287; McHugh v Minister for Social Welfare [1994] 2 IR 139; State (Keegan) v Stardust Victims Compensation Tribunal [1986] IR 642; Associated Provincial Picture Houses Ltd v Wednesbury Corporation [1948] 1 KB 223; Council of Civil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service [1984] 3 All ER 935; O'Keeffe v Bord Pleanála [1993] 1 IR 39; Aer Rianta Cpt v Commissioner for Aviation Regulation (Unrep, O'Sullivan J, 16/1/2003); Burke v Minister for Labour [1979] IR 354; Gorman v Minister for Environment [2001] 2 IR 414; Palacios De La Villa v Cortefiel Servicios SA [2007] ECR I-8531; Mangold v Helm [200]5 ECR I-9981; Lindorfer v Council of the European Union [2009] All ER 569; Law v Canada [1999] 1 SCR 497; Qantas Airways Ltd v Christie 152 ALR 365; MacDonald v Regional Administrative School Unit (No 1) [1992] 16 CHR 409; Bartsch v Bosch Und Siemens Hausgerate (Bsh) Alteredsfursorge Gmbh [2009] All ER 113; Hampton v Lord Chancellor [2008] IRLR 258; 16 Pilots v Martinair Holland Nv & Vereniging van Nederlandse Verkeersvliegers (Nr C03/077HR); Massachusetts Board of Retirement v Murgia (1976) 427 US 307; Kimel v Florida Board Of Regents (2000) 528 US 62; McKinney v University of Guelph (1990) 3 SCR 229 and R (Carson) v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions [2006] 1 AC 173 considered - Garda Siochána (Retirement) Regulations 1996 (SI 16/1996) - Police Forces Amalgamation Act 1925 (No 7), s 14 - Council Directive 2000/78/EC - Case dismissed (2008/3521P- McKechnie J - 25/7/2008) [2008] IEHC 467

Donnellan v Minister for Justice

Facts: The plaintiff Assistant Commissioner Garda S?och?na challenged the statutory provisions governing compulsory retirement on age grounds. He asserted that the Garda Siochana (Retirement) Regulations 1996 (SI No. 16/166) was ultra vires the Police Force Amalgamation Act 1925 and incompatible with Council Directive 2000/78/EC, establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation. The question arose as to whether the Regulations were ultra vires and whether the Regulations were discriminatory on the grounds of age.

Held by McKechnie J. that the system of mandatory retirement was prima facie direct discrimination and the overall aim of the scheme was a legitimate one. The justifications advanced were sufficient to overcome the rationality challenge. A request for an extension of tenure pursuant to Regulation 6(b) of the 1951 Regulations tempered this and the age limit was not thus absolute, given the individual assessment which was required. The structure of the career path in issue permitted an attractive financial retirement package to be availed of. The statutory instrument was neither manifestly unjust or arbitrary. The case of the plaintiff would be dismissed.

Reporter: E.F.

Mr. Justice William M. McKechnie
1

This case raises an important point for the management and senior ranks of An Garda Síochána. On the 7th June 2008, the plaintiff, who then held the commission rank of Assistant Commissioner in An Garda Síochána, was retired from the force by reason of having reached his 60th birthday. In these proceedings he challenges the underlying statutory basis, which makes provision for this compulsory retirement, on age grounds. He does so by asserting, firstly, that the governing statutory instrument, namely the Garda Síochána (Retirement) Regulations 1996 ( S.I. No. 16/1996), is ultra vires the Police Forces Amalgamation Act 1925, which is the parent Act, and secondly, that its provisions are incompatible with Council Directive 2000/78/EC, of 27th November 2000, 'establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation'.

2

The plaintiff is a married man with a family and up to the date last mentioned had spent 40 years with the force. His ultimate superior was the Commissioner who is the second named defendant herein. The Minster for Justice, Equality and Law Reform ("The Minister") is sued as being the person ultimately responsible for An Garda Síochána and also as the "corporation sole" who made the relevant statutory provisions specifying the retirement age for members of the force. Ireland and the Attorney General are joined as being vicariously liable for any "wrongs" that may have been committed by the other defendants named herein.

3

In these proceedings, which were commenced by way of a Plenary Summons, the plaintiff seeks a variety of declarations to the effect (i) that S.I. No. 16/1996 ("the 1996 Regulations") firstly isultra vires the powers contained in s....

To continue reading

Request your trial
13 cases
  • Nurendale Ltd t/a Panda Waste Services v Dublin City Council
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 21 December 2009
    ...Srl. v. Servizi ecologici porto di Genova SpA (SEPG)ECAS (Case C-343/95) [1997] E.C.R. I-1547. Donnellan v. Minister for JusticeUNK [2008] IEHC 467, (Unreported, High Court, McKechnie J., 25th July, 2008). Donovan v. Electricity Supply BoardIR [1994] 2 I.R. 305 (H.C.); [1997] 3 I.R. 573 (S.......
  • Case Number: DEC-S2020-008. Workplace Relations Commission
    • Ireland
    • Workplace Relations Commission
    • 15 October 2020
    ...already been considered by the High Court in this jurisdiction. In Donnellan v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform & others [2008] IEHC 467 (25 July 2008), the plaintiff was an Assistant Garda Commissioner who was retired from the force on reaching his 60th birthday, in accordance......
  • Case Number: ADJ-00006654. Workplace Relations Commission
    • Ireland
    • Workplace Relations Commission
    • Invalid date
    ...means of achieving the aim proportionate?Authority for this is Donnellan v The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform and Others [2008] IEHC467 which sets out guidance for determining how an objective justification advanced in respect of a retirement age is to be assessed, where McKe......
  • Case Number: ADJ-00024869. Workplace Relations Commission
    • Ireland
    • Workplace Relations Commission
    • Invalid date
    ...or Means being employed to achieve these. The landmark Irish Donnellan case, Donnellan v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform [2008] IEHC 467 was also referenced in the same context.The Code of Practice on Longer Working (SI 600/2017) was also cited in support of the Complainant’s ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 firm's commentaries
  • Compulsory Retirement - A Bygone Concept?
    • Ireland
    • Mondaq Ireland
    • 16 January 2013
    ...was not considered by the Irish Courts until 2008. In his judgment in Donnellan v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform [2008] IEHC 467, Mr Justice McKechnie held that whilst national Governments could impose a retirement age by means of domestic legislation, that legislation must b......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT