Minister for Justice v Wang Zhu Jie

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeMcCarthy J.,FINLAY C.J.
Judgment Date01 January 1993
Neutral Citation1991 WJSC-SC 2146
Date01 January 1993
Docket Number[1990 No. 506SS]
MIN JUSTICE v. WANG ZHU JIE
IN THE MATTER OF SECTION 52 OF THE COURTS (SUPPLEMENTALPROVISIONS) ACT 1961

BETWEEN

THE MINISTER FOR JUSTICE (AT THE SUIT OF DETECTIVE GARDABRENDAN CLARKE)
Prosecutor

and

WANG ZHU JIE
Defendant

1991 WJSC-SC 2146

368/90

THE SUPREME COURT

Synopsis:

CONSTITUTION

Courts

Supreme Court - Jurisdiction - Appellate jurisdiction - Exception - High Court - Decision - Determination of questions posed in Case Stated - Appeal from such determination by leave of High Court - Leave refused - Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act, 1961, s. 52 - Constitution of Ireland, 1937, Article 34 - (368/90 - Supreme Court - 7/5/91) - [1993] 1 I.R. 432 - [1991] ILRM 823

|Minister for Justice v. Wang|

SUPREME COURT

Appeal

Jurisdiction - Exclusion - Authority - Constitution - District Court - Case Stated - Question of law determined by High Court - Leave to appeal refused by High Court - Purported appeal not entertained - (368/90 - Supreme Court - 7/5/91) - [1993] 1 I.R. 432

|Minister for Justice v. Wang|

Citations:

COURTS (SUPP PROV) ACT 1961 S52

MENTAL TREATMENT ACT 1945 S260

RSC 0.84

CONSTITUTION ART 34.4.3

AG, PEOPLE V CONMEY 1975 IR 341

TRADE MARKS ACT 1963 S57(5)

PATENTS ACT 1964 S5(7)

B V B 1965 IR 54

COURTS OF JUSTICE ACT 1924 S83

COURTS OF JUSTICE ACT 1936 S56

CAMPUS OIL V MIN FOR INDUSTRY & COMMERCE 1983 IR 82

PATENTS ACT 1964 S75(7)

PEOPLE V O'SHEA 1982 IR 384

PATENTS ACT 1964 S11

PATENTS ACT 1964 S12

PATENTS ACT 1964 S13

PATENTS ACT 1964 S14

PATENTS ACT 1964 S19

PATENTS ACT 1964 S20

PATENTS ACT 1964 S21

PATENTS ACT 1964 S22

PATENTS ACT 1964 S28

PATENTS ACT 1964 S30

PATENTS ACT 1964 S31

COURTS (SUPP PROV) ACT 1961 S52(1)

COURTS (SUPP PROV) ACT 1961 S52(2)

CONSTITUTION ART 34

MIN FOR INDUSTRY & COMMERCE V HEALY 1941 IR 545

SULLIVAN V ROBINSON 1954 IR 161

COURTS OF JUSTICE ACT 1936 S39

COURTS (SUPP PROV) ACT 1961 S48

BEECHAM GROUP V BRISTOL MYERS 1983 IR 325

1

JUDGMENT delivered on the 7th day of May 1991by FINLAY C.J. [HEDERMAN, O'FLAHERTY EGAN AGR]

2

The Defendant in these proceedings seeks to appeal to this Court from so much of the Order of the High Court made by Costello J. pursuant to the provisions of Section 52 of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961as refused an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court from a decision made by Costello J. onthe said date on questions of law raised as a consultative case stated to the High Court by Maura Roche, a Justice of the Dublin MetropolitanDistrict.

3

The first issue which arose on the making of this application was as to whether this Court had any jurisdiction to entertain such an appeal. The relevant provisions of Section 52 of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions Act 1961are as follows.

4

2 "52. (1) A justice of the District Court shall, if requested by any person who has been heard in any proceedings whatsoever before him (other than proceedings relating to an indictable offence which is not being dealt with summarily by the court) unless he consider the request frivolous, and may (without request) refer any question of law arising in such proceedings to the High Court for determination.

5

(2) An appeal shall lie by leave of the High Court to the Supreme Court from every determination of the High Court on a question of law referred to the High Court under subsection (1) of thissection."

The Defendant's submissions
6

The Defendant submits as follows:

7

1. The decision of the learned High Court Judge to refuse leave pursuant to the Section for an appeal to the Supreme Court is a decision of the High Court. As such it is to be equated with and dealt with in the same manner as would, for example, a refusal for leave to institute proceedings in the High Court pursuant to Section 260 of the Mental Treatment Act 1945, or a refusal of leave to apply for judicial review pursuant to Order 84 of the Superior Court Rules. As such, it is contended, the decision, falls within the provisions of Article 34.4.3 of the Constitution, and is an decision from which there is a constitutional right of appeal to the Supreme Court.

8

It is further submitted that even if the provisions of Section 52(2) of the Act of 1961 are to be construed as a form of regulation or exception applicable to the particular decision of the High Courtin a consultative case stated by the District Court pursuant to that Section that they do not unambiguously except the decision of the High Court on such case stated from the provisions of Article 34.4.3 of the Constitution and that, accordingly, the right of appeal exists.

9

I have considered these submissions and I am satisfied that they must fail. The provisions of Article 34.4.3 of the Constitution clearly envisage and provide for exceptions to the general right of appeal from decisions of the High Court to the Supreme Court and furthermore provide additionally for regulations of such right. The exceptions and regulations are to be prescribed by law, namely, by Act of theOireachtas.

10

Essentially, therefore, the issue in this case is as to whether the provisions of Section 52 of the 1961 Act should be construed as effecting an exception from the absolute right of appeal provided for in Article 34.4.3 of the Constitution from decisions of the HighCourt to the Supreme Court, and substituting therefor a regulated right of appeal which is subject to the final discretion of the Judge of the High Court answering the consultative case stated.

11

I am satisfied that the provisions of Section 52 must be so construed. The provisions of these Sections have been considered and commented on in previous decisions of this Court, although the precise issue now raised has not been previously determined. In the course of his judgment in The People (A.G.) v. Conmey 1979 IR, at p.360, Walsh J. stated as follows:

"For examples of express statutory exceptions or qualified exceptions made in respect of other types of decisions of the High Court (see Section 52, subs. (2) of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions Act 1961, and Section 57, subs. (5) of the Trade Marks Act 1963, and Section 5 subs. (7) of the Patents Act 1964. Furthermore, it is to be noted that the decision in each of these three examples is not a decision of the High Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction but of another jurisdiction conferred bylaw."

12

Previous reference by Walsh J. to the general description of...

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