Grennan v Dublin Institute of Technology

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
Judgment Date01 January 1997
Date01 January 1997
Docket Number[1994 No. 208 J.R.]

High Court

[1994 No. 208 J.R.]
Grennan v. Dublin Institute of Technology
Thomas Grennan and Maire Keating
Applicants
and
The Dublin Institute of Technology and The Minister for Education
Respondents

Case mentioned in this report:—

Cooke v. Walsh [1984] I.R. 710; [1984] I.L.R.M. 208.

Judicial review - Declaration - Third-level college - Statute providing for establishment of governing body - Two members of body to be elected from academic staff - Ministerial directive that such elections to result in election of one man and one woman - Regulations made by first respondent providing for election from gender-based panels - Whether election ultra vires first respondent's statutory powers - Whether failure by first respondent to exercise own discretion - Whether issuing of directive ultra vires power of second respondent - Dublin Institute of Technology Act, 1992 (No. 15), s. 6, sub-ss. 4 (b) and 6, and s. 7, sub-ss. 1 and 5.

Statute - Interpretation - "Two persons" - Statute providing for elections of two persons to governing body of third-level college - Regulations made by first respondent in compliance with ministerial directive providing for election of one man and one woman - Whether words "two persons" words of general application incapable of limitation by regulation - Whether regulations ultra vires - Dublin Institute of Technology Act, 1992 (No. 15), s.6, sub-s. 4 (b)

Judicial review.

On the 20th June, 1994, the High Court (Geoghegan J.) granted the applicants leave to apply by way of judicial review for the following reliefs:—

  • 1. a declaration that the second respondent acted ultra vires in directing the first respondent that regulations governing the election of representatives of the academic staff to the governing body of the first respondent must provide for the election of one man and one woman;

  • 2. a declaration that the regulations made by the first respondent governing the election of representatives of the academic staff to the governing body of the first respondent insofar as they provide for the election of one man and one woman are null and void and of no effect;

  • 3. a declaration that the appointment by the second respondent of one man and one woman to the governing body of the first respondent following an election held on gender-based panels would be null and void and of no legal effect;

  • 4. an order prohibiting the second respondent from appointing to the governing body of the first respondent any person elected in elections held on gender-based panels.

The application was heard by the High Court (Geoghegan J.) on the 3rd and 7th February, 1995.

Section 6, sub-s. 1 of the Dublin Institute of Technology Act, 1992, provides for the establishment of a governing body of the Institute.

Section 6, sub-s. 4 of the Act of 1992 provides, inter alia, as follows:—

". . . the ordinary members of the Governing Body shall be appointed by the Minister, on the recommendation of the Vocational Education Committee, in accordance with the following provisions: . . .

(b) two persons, being members of the academic staff of the Institute, shall be elected by that staff, in accordance with regulations made by the Governing Body."

Section 6, sub-s. 6 of the Act of 1992 provides:—

"In making appointments to the Governing Body pursuant to subsection (4)of this section, the Minister shall have regard to the extent to which each sex is represented and shall ensure an appropriate gender balance as determined by the Minister from time to time."

Section 7, sub-s. 1 of the Act of 1922 provides, inter alia, that the governing body "shall manage and control the affairs of the Institute and shall perform the functions conferred on the Institute by this Act, and shall have all such powers as are necessary or expedient for the purpose of those functions subject to such policies as may be determined by the Minister from time to time . . ."

Section 7, sub-s.5 of the Act of 1992 provides:—

"In performing its functions, the Governing Body shall have regard to the attainment of gender equity and of equality of opportunity in education."

By a letter dated the 26th May, 1994, the second respondent informed the first respondent that she had determined, as a matter of policy, that where it held elections pursuant to the provisions of s. 6, sub-s. 4 (b) of the Act of 1992, such elections must result in the election of one woman and one man. An election was due to be held...

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  • DPP v Best
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 27 July 1999
    ...317; (1970) 104 I.L.T.R. 81. G. v. An Bord Uchtála [1980] I.R. 32; (1979) 113 I.L.T.R. 25. Grennan v. Dublin Institute of Technology [1997] 3 I.R. 415. Meyer v. Nebraska (1923) 262 U.S. 390. Mogul of Ireland Ltd. v. Tipperary (N.R) County Council [1976] I.R. 260. O'Donoghue v. Minister for ......

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