C. -v- Residential Institutions Redress Board, [2007] IEHC 453 (2007)

Docket Number:2007 603 JR
Party Name:C., Residential Institutions Redress Board
Judge:McGovern J.
 
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THE HIGH COURT

JUDICIAL REVIEW[2007 No. 603 J.R.]BETWEEN/C.APPLICANTAND

RESIDENTIAL INSTITUTIONS REDRESS BOARDRESPONDENT

JUDGMENT of Mr. Justice Brian McGovern delivered on the 9th day of November 2007

  1. In these proceedings the applicant seeks the following relief:

    (1) A declaration that "relevant person" as defined in s. 1(1) of the Residential Institutions Redress Act, 2002, does not, or in the alternative, does not necessarily, include a child in the care of the relevant institution at the relevant time and who is named in a statement of the applicant as having engaged in the infliction of injury or abuse on her.

    (2) An order, by way of injunction restraining the respondent from notifying persons under s. 11(8) of the Act of 2002 who were fellow residents in the care of the institutions named in a statement of the applicant as having engaged in activities which may have contributed to injury of the applicant, but against whom the applicant has not complained within the meaning of the Act.

    (3) An interim order pursuant to O. 84, r. 20(7) of the Rules of the Superior Courts, 1986 preventing the respondent from notifying any persons who were fellow child residents with the applicant of any allegations made by her pending the determination of her application for judicial review.

  2. On 21st May, 2007 the applicant was granted leave to apply for judicial review for the reliefs set out above on the grounds set forth in the statement grounding the application for judicial review.

  3. The applicant suffers from a profound hearing impairment and as a child was resident in a school for girls with impaired hearing ("the Institution"). She claims that while resident in the Institution she suffered abuse within the meaning of s. 1(1) of the Residential Institutions Redress Act, 2002 ("the Act"). The abuse of which she claims amounts to bullying and sexual abuse. It is alleged she suffered this abuse at the hands of fellow residents in the Institution.

  4. The plaintiff wishes to bring a claim for redress pursuant to the Residential Institutions Redress Act, 2002 and she made an application under the scheme provided for in that Act. She completed a written statement in compliance with s. 10(4) of the Act and the regulations made thereunder and she detailed the abuse suffered by her while in the Institution.

  5. Section 11(8) of the Act obliges the respondent: "to take such reasonable steps as are necessary, and in accordance with the regulations made under this section, to inform a relevant person of an application under this Act in which the relevant person is referred to …"Where the Residential Institutions Redress Board ("the Board") so informs a relevant person under s. 11(8) the following steps are required to be taken:"(a) the Board shall invite that relevant person to provide it with any evidence in writing concerning such application as the relevant person considers appropriate,

    (b) the Board may, on an application by a relevant person, allow the relevant person to give oral evidence to the Board in respect of the application,

    (c) the relevant person may, in person or through a legal or other representative, and with the consent of the Board, cross-examine the applicant and any person giving evidence on behalf of the applicant for the purpose of - (i) correcting any mistake of fact or misstatement relating to or affecting the relevant person made in the application,

    (ii) defending the relevant person in relation to any allegation or defamatory or untrue statement, made in the application, or(iii) protecting and vindicating the personal and other rights of the relevant person,and

    (d) an applicant may, in person or through a legal or other representative, and with the consent of the Board, cross-examine the relevant person and any person giving evidence on behalf of the relevant person,

    and the Board shall consent under this sub-section if it considers that, in the interests of justice, it is necessary or expedient to do so for any of the purposes so specified."6. The matters set out above provide the background to this application.

    The applicant's complaint

  6. The applicant claims that "relevant person" as defined in s. 1(1) of the Act does not, or in the alternative, does not necessarily, include a...

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