State (Creedon) v Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeFINLAY C.J.
Judgment Date14 March 1988
Neutral Citation1988 WJSC-SC 79
Docket Number[S.C. No. 36 of 1986]
Date14 March 1988

1988 WJSC-SC 79

THE SUPREME COURT

Finlay C.J.

Walsh J.

McCarthy J.

36/86
CREEDON v. CRIMINAL INJURIES COMPENSATION TRIBUNAL
THE STATE AT THE PROSECUTION OF MARION CREEDON
Applicant/
Appellant

and

THE CRIMINAL INJURIES COMPENSATION TRIBUNAL
Respondent

Citations:

SCHEME OF COMPENSATION FOR PERSONAL INJURIES CRIMINALLY INFLICTED RULE 4(d)

KEEGAN, STATE V STARDUST COMPENSATION TRIBUNAL 1987 ILRM 202, 1986 IR 642

Synopsis:

TRIBUNAL

Decision

Reasons - Absence - Unreason - Criminal injuries - Compensation - Non-statutory scheme - Tribunal's resolute silence - The respondent tribunal on 27/6/85 heard an application by the applicant, made on behalf of herself and her infant son, for compensation in respect of the death of her husband on 28/8/83 as the result of an accident which occurred on 14/5/83 - By notice dated 1/7/85 the respondent tribunal informed the applicant that her application had failed, but the respondents did not then or subsequently inform the applicant of the reasons for their refusal to grant the application - The respondents were not a body established by statute but had been formed pursuant to an administrative decision of the Government - At the hearing of the application the applicant adduced evidence in support of her contention that her claim to compensation was within rule 4(d) of the relevant scheme under which the respondents were authorised to award compensation - That sub-rule states that the respondents will consider claims in respect of injuries received "because of, or in the course of, attempting to save human life" - The applicant's evidence established that the applicant's husband, immediately prior to the accident, was loading a van which was parked on a steep slope at the top of a hill on a minor road, and that his son aged a year and eight months was in the front of the van; that there were children on that road between the van and the main road at the bottom of the hill; and that the van began to move backwards down the hill - The applicant's husband went to the rear of the van and tried to stop it rolling backwards; he succeeded in diverting the course of the van but slipped and fell underneath the vehicle , which overturned and came to rest before it reached the junction with the main road - The applicant's son survived the accident - The evidence adduced on behalf of the applicant was not controverted - The applicant obtained in the High Court a conditional order of certiorari quashing the decision of the respondents unless cause were shown to the contrary - The respondents chose to show cause by filing a notice which consisted of a statement that they did not err in law, that they had acted within jurisdiction and in accordance with natural justice and that there was evidence on which they reached, and were entitled to reach, their decision - The High Court allowed the cause shown by the respondents and discharged the conditional order - The applicant appealed against the order of the High Court - Held, in allowing the appeal, that the applicant had to discharge the onus of satisfying the court, on the balance of probabilities, that the respondents" decision was at variance with reason and common sense: ~The State (Keegan) v. Stardust Victims Tribunal~ [1987] ILRM 202 considered - Held that there were no grounds on which the respondents would have been entitled to reject the accuracy of the evidence adduced on behalf of the applicant in respect of the circumstances of the accident which resulted in the death of her husband and that, accordingly, the sole issue was the proper inference to be drawn from the facts established by the evidence adduced in support of the applicant's claim - Held that the only rational explanation of the actions of the deceased which resulted in his injuries and death was that his injuries occurred in the course of an attempt by him to save the life of his infant son - Held that the decision of the respondents was at variance with reason and common sense - Held that the conduct of the respondents, in rejecting the application and in maintaining their silence on the reasons for the rejection when it was challenged, was not consistent with the proper administration of the functions of a quasi-judicial nature which had been entrusted to them - Held that the respondents" decision should be quashed and that an order of mandamus should issue directing the respondents to consider the applicant's claim on the basis that she was entitled to compensation for the death of her husband, and directing them to assess the amount of such compensation - (36/86 - Supreme Court - 14/3/88) - [1988] I.R. 51

|The State (Creedon) v. Criminal Injuries Compensation...

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