Health Service Executive -v- JC

JudgeHorgan P.
Judgment Date12 June 2015
Neutral Citation[2015] IEDC 13
Case OutcomeApproved
CourtDistrict Court (Ireland)
[2015] IEDC 13
CHILD CARE ACT 1991, Section 29(5)
1. The Applicant in this matter is Dr. CC who requested ac cess to “relevant court doc uments” for the purposes set out in sect ion 29
(5) of the Child Care Act 1991 (as amended) in acc ordance with Order 61A of t he District Court Rules (2014) subject to t he directions
set out in paragraph 3 below. Dr. CC seeks acce ss on her own behalf and on behalf of the Child Care Law Reporting Project members
(as approved by t he Minister for Children and Youth Affairs) to “relevant c ourt documents” so t hat she a nd her colleagues can
acc urately prepare reports of c ases and also discharge their wider research role.
2. Counsel on behalf of Dr. CC defines “relevant c ourt doc uments” as;
(a) all notice of application (or equivalent originating documents howsoever desc ribed) in the above proc eedings
(b) all pleadings and other documents (including reports and the te rms of set tlement, if any, in the course of these
(c) any order made by t he Court in these proc eedings (including any judgment provided to t he parties in these
proceedings) but does not include any doc ument, the c ontents of which a re expressed to be wit hout prejudice or terms
which have a like effect.
3. It is submitted on behalf of Dr. CC that “other c ourt doc uments” includes acc ess to Social Work/ Guardian ad Litem and any other
professional reports submitted to t he Court in Child Care cases.
4. The limiting directions suggest ed that the Court should apply are that suc h documents;
(a) May be inspec ted and notes taken;
(b) May not be copied by any means;
(c) May not be removed from the Court building;
(d) Should be returned to suc h person as may have provided them without delay onc e inspected. And, for t he avoidance
of doubt, s ect ion 29 (1) of the Child Care Act 1991 is to apply save to t he extent that it has been dis- applied by this
order or by operation of law.
Statutes Considered
5. The f ollowing statutory provisions were c onsidered; Section 29 (1) and (5) Child Care Act 1991 as amended by sect ion 3 Child Care
(Amendment) Act 2007; Sect ion 31 of the Child Care Act 1991; Sect ion 40 Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 as amended by sect ion
31 of the Civil Law (Misc ellaneous Provisions Act 2008 and the Civil Law (Misc ellaneous Provisions) Act 2013; Sec tion 7 Courts Ac t
1964 as amended by section 22 of Courts Act 1971 and sect ion 5 Interpretation Act , 2005.
Rules Considered
6. The f ollowing rules were c onsidered; Order 84 District Court Rules S.I 1993/97; SI No 539/2004 District Court (Children) Rules 2004;
SI 5/2006 District Court (Children) Rules 2006; S.I No 469 of 2008: District Court (Child Care) Rules 2008 Order 61A (rules providing
for sect ion 40 Civil Liability and Courts Ac t 2004 and sec tion 29(5) Child Care Act 1991); S.I No 467/2012 Child Care Act 1991
(sect ion 29(7)) Regulations; S.I 141 of 2015 Order 61A (sect ion 40 Civil Liability and Courts Ac t 2004: S.I 141/2015; District Court
(Child Care) Rules 2015 S.I 143/2015.
Cases Considered
7. The f ollowing cases were c onsidered; Eastern Health Board v Fitness t o Pract ice Com mittee [1998] 3 IR 399; RD v McGuinness
[1999] 2 IR 411; RM v DM (Practic e in Camera) [2000] 3 I.R 373; Eastern Health Board v E No. 2 [2000] 1 I.R 451; MS v Gibbons
[2007] 3 IR 584; HSE v McAnaspie [2012] IR 548; Martin v Legal Aid Board [2007] 2 IR 759; Kiely v Minister for Soc ial Welfare [1977]
IR 267; Health Service Executive v S.C (a minor) & Anor [2013] IEHC 516; E.H.B. v. E. (No.2) [2000] I.R.451; Miggin (a Minor) v. HSE
& Gannon [2010] IEHC 169, Breslin v Mc Kenna [2008] IESC 43 [2009] 1 I.R 298; AIB PLC v George T race y (no.2)[2013] 3 JI c 2106;
Health Service Execut ive v L.N & Ors [2012] IEHC 611; Leneghan-v-Judge Brennan & Ors [2015]IEHC 143; Crilly T & J Farrington
Limited [2001]3 IR 252; O’Dwyer v Keegan [1997] 2 ILRM 401. DPP v Flanagan [1979] IR 265; Howard v Commissioner for Public
Works [1994] 1 IR 101; B and P v United Kingdom (2002) 34 E.H.R.R. 529; and Moser v Austria (Application no. 12643/02) (2006).
8. The Applicant is a bona fide researc her and founder of the Child Care Law Reporting Project (CCLRP). The CCLRP is an independent
project est ablished under section 3 of the Child Care (Amendment) Act 2007 (in acc ordance with regulations made under that Ac t by
S.I 467 of 2012).
9. Dr. CC and her research team att end Courts where Child Care cases are heard in order to report on those proceedings while
protect ing the anonymity of the children and their families. The CCLRP involves the presenc e of a single reporter in each cas e that is

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