The High Court has recommended that two people who separately challenged their detention in mandatory hotel quarantine should get the legal costs of their actions after the cases were struck out following their release.
The recommendations were made following applications from lawyers for Israeli woman Inbar Aviezer, who came here to work, and for Dublin man Derek Jennings (47), who also flew from Israel to be with his severely ill father. Both had been fully vaccinated and tested in Israel but yet were required to quarantine after taking a flight from Israel.
Following the initiation of their legal challenges against hotel operators Tifco Ltd, Tifco Management Services (Ireland) Ltd and the Minister for Health, they were both released on Sunday.
The cases had been adjourned until Monday when Ms Aviezer’s came before Mr Justice Brian O’Moore, who struck out the proceedings following her lawyer’s application.
At a separate brief hearing before Mr Justice Charles Meenan, Mr Jennings' case was also struck out.
In both cases, a recommendation for the legal costs was made by the judges.
Conor Power SC, for Ms Aviezer, asked Mr Justice O’Moore to make a recommendation for his client’s legal costs given the significant amount of work carried out over the weekend by her legal team preparing the case before the Minister made the decision ending her quarantine. It involved dealing with affidavits of some 600 pages from the defendants’ side and preparing written submissions in response for Monday’s anticipated hearing.
It also involved engaging UCD lecturer and immunologist Dr Gerald Barry who would provide evidence challenging the designation of Israel on the country quarantine list, including the interpretation of the test used by the Minister to justify his decision to include Israel.
Mr Power also asked for time for his client to submit a statement of means as part of the legal aid application given that she is now home quarantining. Counsel said even if the judge makes a recommendation for payment of his client's costs it is ultimately a matter for the Legal Aid Board depending on her statement of means.
Catherine Donnelly, for the defendants, said her clients were agreeing or not objecting to the costs order being sought.
The judge agreed to make a recommendation under the legal aid scheme given the novelty and urgency of the case.
He also said he had read the papers and he had some idea of the detailed scientific nature of the case and it would be of assistance if there are any further applications of this nature brought.