The doctrine of curial deference in Ireland

AuthorPatrick O'Reilly
2007] Curial Deference in Ireland 197
“[T]he Irish Courts have no appetite to review decisions
of regulatory bodies. The remarks of the Superior Courts
understate in many ways how unsuited the Irish judiciary
believe themselves to be in resolving such [regulatory]
The above quotation accurately describes the general
attitude of the Superior Courts when asked to interfere, by way of
Judicial Review, with the decisions of regulatory or statutorily
“independent”2 expert bodies. The term adopted to describe this
doctrine is known as “curial deference”, being the courts’
deference or the judicial attitude of restraint shown as regards the
decisions of such bodies. The term carries with it a sense of old-
fashioned and dignified humility and forms part of a wider
doctrine of judicial restraint shown by the courts in the context of
Judicial Review; in the judicial review of decisions of statutory
expert bodies, the Superior Courts will accord to such bodies a
certain latitude or margin of appreciation evidencing the Court’s
respect for the role and expertise of such bodies.
Barrister -at-Law.
1 Excerpt from Bar Council of Ireland Submission on Regulatory Appeals, 31
October 2006, prepared for the purposes of the Consultation Paper on
Regulatory Appeals focusing on appeals relating to major economic and
sectoral regulatory Authorities. Further information on both the consultation
paper and the submissions made for the purpose of the Consultation Paper c.f., a website managed by the Department of An
2 It is not at all suggested that such bodies are systemically biased but neither
are they truly independent; their appointments are often political ones, their
budgets are often determined by the relevant Government department, sectoral
policy may statutorily be subject to the direction of the relevant Government
and the political appointees may be removed by the relevant Minister.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT