Min for Communications etc v Information Commissioner

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeClarke C.J.,MacMenamin J.,O’Malley J.
Judgment Date31 July 2019
Neutral Citation[2019] IESCDET 179
Docket NumberSupreme Court record no: S:AP:IE:2019:000101 High Court record no: 2015 No. 394 MCA
Date31 July 2019

[2019] IESCDET 179

THE SUPREME COURT

DETERMINATION

Clarke C.J.

MacMenamin J.

O’Malley J.

Supreme Court record no: S:AP:IE:2019:000101

Court of Appeal record no: A:AP:IE:2017:000256

High Court record no: 2015 No. 394 MCA

IN THE MATTER OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2014

BETWEEN
THE MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES
APPELLANT
AND
THE INFORMATION COMMISSIONER
RESPONDENT
AND
GAVIN SHERIDAN

AND

E-NASC ÉIREANN TEORANTA (TRADING AS “ENET”)
NOTICE PARTIES
APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL TO WHICH ARTICLE 34.5.3° OF THE CONSTITUTION APPLIES

RESULT: The Court grants leave to the Respondent to appeal to this Court from the Court of Appeal

REASONS GIVEN:
ORDER SOUGHT TO BE APPEALED
COURT: Court of Appeal
DATE OF JUDGMENT OR RULING: 6 th March, 2019
DATE OF ORDER: 10 th April, 2019
DATE OF PERFECTION OF ORDER: 17 th May, 2019
THE APPLICATION FOR LEAVE TO APPEAL WAS MADE ON 28 th May, 2019 AND WAS IN TIME.
General Considerations
1

The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to hear appeals is set out in the Constitution. As is clear from the terms of Article 34.5.3° thereof and the many determinations made by this Court since the enactment of the Thirty-third Amendment, it is necessary, in order for this Court to grant leave to appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeal, that it be established by the applicant that the decision sought to be appealed involves a matter of general public importance, or that it is otherwise necessary in the interests of justice that there be an appeal to this Court.

2

The general principles applied by this Court in determining whether to grant or refuse leave to appeal having regard to the criteria incorporated into the Constitution as a result of the 33 rd Amendment have now been considered in a large number of determinations and are frilly addressed in both a determination issued by a panel consisting of all of the members of this Court in B.S. v Director of Public Prosecutions [2017] IESCDET 134 and in a unanimous judgment of a full Court delivered by O’Donnell J. in Price Waterhouse Coopers (A Firm) v Quinn Insurance Ltd. (Under Administration) [2017] IESC 73. The additional criteria required to be met in order that a so-called ‘leapfrog appeal’ direct from the High Court to this Court can be permitted were addressed by a full panel of the Court in Wansboro v Director of Public Prosecutions [2017] IESCDET 115. Accordingly it is unnecessary to revisit the new constitutional architecture for the purpose of this determination.

3

It should be noted that any ruling in a determination is a decision particular to that application and is final and conclusive only as far as the parties are concerned. The issue calling for the Court's consideration is whether the facts and legal issues meet the constitutional criteria as above identified. It will not, save in the rarest of circumstances, be appropriate to rely on a refusal of leave as having a precedential value relative to the substantive issues, if and when such issues should further arise in a different case. Where leave is granted on any issue, that matter will be disposed of in due course in the substantive decision...

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