Y.Y. v Minister for Justice and Equality

JudgeO'Donnell J.,Laffoy J.,Charleton J.
Judgment Date30 March 2017
Neutral Citation[2017] IESCDET 38
CourtSupreme Court
Date30 March 2017

[2017] IESCDET 38



O'Donnell J.

Laffoy J.

Charleton J.

The Minister for Justice and Equality
Result: The Court grants leave to the applicant to appeal to this Court from the High Court on grounds specified herein.
Reasons Given:

In this case, the High Court has made an order restraining publication of material tending to identify the applicant, and restraining for a limited period, reporting of the country of origin of the applicant. Accordingly, and for the purposes of consistency, the applicant will be referred to as Y.Y. and the country of origin, as Country X.


This is an application for an appeal from the High Court direct to the Supreme Court pursuant to the provisions of Article 34.5.4° of the Constitution (a so called leapfrog appeal) on unusual facts. The application concerns a decision of the High Court of the 13th March, 2017, in a telescoped hearing, whereby Humphreys J. refused an order for certiorari in respect of a decision of the respondent Minister of the 15th September, 2016, to deport the applicant pursuant to s.3(1) of the Immigration Act 1999 (‘the s.3(1) decision’). During the course of the hearing the High Court also permitted the applicant to apply to the Respondent Minister pursuant to s.3(11) of the same Act for revocation of the deportation decision. The respondent made a decision on the 6th December, 2016, refusing to revoke that decision, (the ‘s.3(11) decision’) and the proceedings were amended to permit the applicant to challenge that decision as well. In the judgment delivered on the 13th March, 2017, the High Court also rejected the challenge to the s.3(11) decision.


Since decisions pursuant to s.3 of the Act of 1999 are subject to the provisions of s.5 of the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act 2000, the High Court heard an application for a certificate permitting leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal. In a judgment delivered on the 24th March, 2017, the High Court refused the application for such a certificate. The applicant applied on the 27th of March to this Court pursuant to Article 34.5.4° of the Constitution for leave to appeal to this Court on grounds that the decision of the 13th March, 2017 involves points of law of general public importance. The respondent delivered a Respondent's Notice on the same day. This application has been dealt with as a matter of urgency as it has been intimated that the deportation order may be executed imminently and there is at the moment no stay on the order.


The relevant facts in this complex case are set out with admirable clarity in a judgment of the High Court. The applicant is a native of Country X. He was convicted in that country in his absence of serious terrorist offences and sentenced to three life sentences and two sentences of death. It should be said at this point that Country X has not carried out an execution for over 20 years and it is accepted to be in practice abolitionist. The applicant does not rely in these proceedings on the fact that he has been subject to such death sentences. Nevertheless, they cannot be ignored.


The applicant arrived in Ireland in July, 1997 and applied for refugee status under a false name and giving false information. His claim was refused by the commissioner, but he was granted refugee status by the Refugee Appeals Tribunal on 2nd April, 2000. He was also granted travel documentation. In 2001, he was arrested in Andorra on fraud offences. He then entered France and was later arrested there, and in 2005 convicted of preparing acts of terrorism in England, Ireland, Spain, Andorra and France between 1997 and 2002. He was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment. He applied for refugee status in France and was refused. In consequence of the matters which emerged in France, his refugee status in Ireland was revoked in 2011. That decision was appealed, and was the subject of judicial review, but both the appeal and the judicial review proceedings were withdrawn.


It appears that the applicant re-entered Ireland in 2009. He sought admission to the asylum process which was refused. He also sought subsidiary protection. In his interview, he said falsely, that his brother had been convicted of non-terrorist offences in France, and had been returned to Country X where he was living ‘an okay life’. It transpired that the offences of which his brother was convicted in France were terrorist related. The commissioner refused the application for subsidiary protection finding that substantial grounds had not been shown for believing that the applicant would face a real risk of suffering serious harm if returned to Country X, and furthermore that he was excluded from international protection by Regulation 17 of the EU (Subsidiary Protection) Regulations 2013, by reason of his offending behaviour. Significantly, the Refugee Appeals Tribunal affirmed that decision, but only on the basis that the applicant was properly excluded from international protection by virtue of his offending behaviour. The tribunal stated ‘that there was a personal, present, foreseeable and...

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