AuthorMary Carolan, Colm Keena
Published date02 January 2021
The criminal courts also face a busy start to 2021, with judgment due on Pat Quirke's appeal over his conviction for the murder of Bobby "Mr Moonlight" Ryan in Co Tipperary, and the separate trial of four men in connection with an alleged assault on Kevin Lunney in Co Cavan.

Pubs insurance case The fate of many pubs

hangs on the outcome of a High Court judgment, due in January, on the business interruption test cases relating to coronavirus cover brought by four pubs against FBD Insurance over the insurer's failure to pay out.

Industrial relations cases A significant Supreme Court judgment is expected in the first months of 2021 on a challenge by a dismissed worker to the constitutionality of new procedures under the Workplace Relations Act 2015 for deciding workplace disputes. Attorney General Paul Gallagher has said a finding of unconstitutionality in Tomasz Zalewski's appeal would have "immense" implications beyond the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), affecting regulatory procedures in sectors including financial services, telecommunications, residential tenancies and data protection.

Trade unions and employer groups will also be closely monitoring a Government appeal to the Supreme Court over a High Court judgment which struck down the law providing for sectoral employment orders which set minimum pay and conditions for certain workers.

Graham Dwyer Convicted murderer Graham Dwyer is expected back before the Supreme Court later this year for the finalisation of the State's appeal over a key High Court ruling against the validity of a 2011 Irish data-retention law central to the investigation and prosecution of serious crime.

The European Court of Justice is expected to deal early in 2021 with issues referred to it by the Supreme Court in the appeal, and the ECJ decision will impact on the final Supreme Court judgment. If the High Court ruling is upheld, Dwyer is expected to rely on it in his separate appeal to the Court of Appeal over his 2015 conviction for the murder of childcare worker Elaine O'Hara.

Data and Facebook Data issues are also the focus of proceedings in the High Court's commercial division separately taken by Facebook and by Austrian data rights and privacy activist Max Schrems against the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC). Facebook Ireland wants the court to overturn a draft decision by the DPC that, arising from data protection concerns, data transfers to its US parent should be suspended, and to halt the commissioner's probe...

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