Court judgments - the week’s key legal cases in brief


Solicitor guilty of misconduct in attempting to cover up earlier mistake

Kean v. Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal [2014]IEHC 432 (High Court, Kearns P, 23 September 2014)

High Court dismisses appeal against a finding by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal of misconduct on the part of a solicitor who was found to have covered up a failure to file a document, on the grounds that the tribunal had ample evidence to support its conclusion and that its conclusion, insofar as the findings of fact were concerned, could not be in any way be considered irrational, speculative or in any other way lacking a proper foundation. - Damian Byrne BL

Mother and son (a minor) from Sierra Leone found to lack credibility in claim of persecution by rebel group

BJ v. Refugee Appeals Tribunal [2014]IEHC 429 (High Court, McDermott J, 5 September 2014)

High Court refuses judicial review of decision of Refugee Appeals Tribunal to refuse refugee status to a mother and infant son from Sierra Leone who claimed to have been targeted by a rebel group, on the grounds that they failed to establish substantial grounds to challenge the finding that they lacked credibility. - James Cross BL

Minister failed to apply appropriate test for dependency in an application for reunification with teenage granddaughters

FB v. Minister for Justice [2014]IEHC 427 (High Court, McDermott J, 5 September 2014)

High Court grants judicial review of refusal by Minister for Justice to allow family reunification of an Irish citizen with her Nigerian teenage granddaughters, on the grounds that the Minister for Justice had failed to apply the appropriate test for financial and non-financial “dependency”, and had erred in law in failing to consider the application of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. - James Cross BL

Reactivation of sentence held to be unconstitutional where no right of appeal provided

McCabe v. DPP [2014]IEHC 435 (High Court, Hogan J, 29 September 2014)

High Court grants a declaration that it would be unconstitutional to give effect to a re-activated sentence imposed on appeal in the Circuit Court for a summary offence, where the offender had no right of appeal against the decision to re-activate the sentence following a subsequent conviction, on grounds that it offended the constitutional provisions of: a) equality before the law; and b) right of appeal from courts of limited and local jurisdiction. - Ciaran Joyce BL

Irish-born Ukrainian minor refused asylum despite claiming “indirect” fear of persecution

NG (a minor) v. Refugee Appeals Tribunal [2014]IEHC 428 (High Court, McDermott J, 5 September 2014)

High Court refuses leave to seek judicial review of decision of Refugee Appeals Tribunal to refuse asylum to an Irish-born Ukrainian minor who claimed to have an indirect fear of persecution due to her parent’s refusal to give in to state corruption, where the applicant had failed to establish substantial grounds to challenge the decision. - James Cross BL

Fish farming company allowed to proceed with claim despite related proceedings in Denmark

Celtic Salmon Atlantic (Killary) Limited v. Aller Acqua (Ireland) Limited [2014]IEHC 421 (High Court, Hogan J, 31 July 2014)

High Court allows a fish farming company to proceed with claim for breach of contract and negligence against a fish feed company, notwithstanding that the fish feed company had brought related proceedings against the fish farming company in Denmark, on the grounds that it would be manifestly contrary to public policy to refuse to allow the claim to proceed when it had been unable to effectively advance its counterclaim due to the Danish procedural rules which rendered its expert report inadmissible. - James Cross BL

Sentencing court not required to give express reasons for not imposing community service

O’Brien v. DPP [2014]IEHC 425 (High Court, Kearns P, 19 September 2014)

High Court refuses judicial review of decision of District Court to impose four-month custodial sentence and 40-year driving disqualification following plea of guilty to driving offences, and to refuse to grant legal aid following conviction, on grounds that: a) the court was not obliged to give express reasons for refusing to impose community service; b) legal aid could not be assigned after conviction; c) the duration of the sentence was an appropriate matter for an appeal to the Circuit Court rather than judicial review; and d) there was no error on the face of the order recording the offence the applicant had been convicted of. - Ciaran Joyce BL

European arrest warrant case to proceed after fitness to plead issue resolved by medical evidence

Minister for Justice v. BH [2014]IEHC 403 (High Court, Edwards J, 30 July 2014)

High Court rules that an application for surrender of respondent to Poland pursuant to a European arrest warrant should proceed after hearing extensive medical testimony regarding the mental capacity of the respondent, who claimed to suffer from “delusional syndrome”, but owned and operated two supermarkets. - Ciaran Joyce BL

The full text of each judgment is on: . Reports provided by Stare Decisis Hibernia;