Judgments

Key cases in brief

 

A delay in a minister responding to prisoner’s petition was an inexcusable breach of his rights. Egan vs Governor of Wheatfield Prison (2014) IEHC 613 (High Court, McDermott J, December 2nd, 2014) The High Court, by way of judicial review, grants a declaration that the delay by the Minister for Justice in determining a petition submitted concerning visitation rights was inordinate and inexcusable and amounted to a breach of the applicant’s constitutional right to fair procedures.

– Ciarán Joyce BL

The Minister had due regard to the best interests of the children when deciding to deport a Brazilian family Dos Santos vs Minister for Justice (2014) IEHC 559 (High Court, McDermott J, November 19th, 2014) The High Court refuses judicial review of a decision by the Minister for Justice to issue deportation orders against a Brazilian family, on the grounds that the Minister had due and proper regard for the welfare and best interests of the children and had properly and adequately considered the rights to private and family when the deportation orders were made.

– James Cross BL

A dairy distributor obtains an interlocutory injunction preventing a supplier from implementing a revised distribution arrangement. Baínne Aláinn Limited vs Glanbia plc (2014) IEHC 482 (High Court, Barrett J, October 24th, 2014) The High Court grants a distributor of dairy products an interlocutory injunction restraining its supplier from implementing a revised distribution arrangement in the Gorey area prior to full hearing, where the revised arrangement might lead to the failure of the plaintiff’s business.

– Conor O’Higgins BL

The failure to produce a valid driving licence at the time of an offence meant the alleged drink driver was considered a “specified person”. DPP vs McConville (2014) IEHC 616 (High Court, Kearns P, December 12th, 2014) The High Court, by way of consultative case stated, finds that an alleged drink driver who failed to produce a valid driving licence at the time of the offence could be considered a “specified person” under the relevant legislation and was not entitled to receive a fixed penalty notice before being prosecuted in court.

– Ciarán Joyce BL

A sports retailer obtains an interlocutory injunction restraining the actions of a company in which it is major shareholder Sports Direct International plc vs Minor (2014) IEHC 546 (High Court, Costello J, November 14th, 2014) The High Court grants a sports retailer an interlocutory injunction restraining another company in which it was a 50 per cent shareholder from entering into a lease of property in Northern Ireland, on the basis, inter alia, that (a) an award of damages would not be an adequate remedy in circumstances where the plaintiff sought to protect the rights attaching to its shareholding, and (b), the balance of convenience in all the circumstances lay in granting the relief.

– Conor O’Higgins BL

Decisions of Financial Services Ombudsman were vitiated by serious and significant errors. O’Donoghue vs Financial Services Ombudsman (2014) IEHC 620 (High Court, O’Malley J, November 19th, 2014) The High Court allows an appeal against two decisions of the Financial Services Ombudsman finding against the appellant home insurance policyholder in his claim against decision by the underwriter and bank to void the appellant’s policy following a claim made thereon owing to alleged misrepresentations made by the appellant when taking out his policy, and determines that a), a clear conflict of fact existed which necessitated the holding of an oral hearing into the matter, and b), that where the appellant had in fact made opposing declarations on his proposal form, there was an obligation on the bank and underwriter to query same and caution the appellant regarding the risks of policy vitiation.

– Ian Fitzharris BL

An airline is entitled to various categories of discovery in defamation proceedings concerning “low fuel emergency landings” Ryanair Limited vs Irish Municipal (2014) IEHC 594 (High Court, O’Malley J, September 12th, 2014) The High Court, in substantive proceedings commenced by plaintiff airline against pilot and president of the Irish Airline Pilots Association claiming damages for defamation and malicious falsehood, arising from comments made by the defendant on public radio in 2012 surrounding the plaintiff’s policies and procedures on “low fuel flying”, hears the plaintiff’s application for discovery of some 28 categories of documentation and makes specific rulings in relation to each category sought.

– Ian Fitzharris BL

An order is made for further and better particulars in a case in which fraud is alleged. James Elliott Construction Ltd vs Lagan 2014) IEHC 547 (High Court, Costello J, November 20th, 2014) The High Court, in a case in which fraud was alleged, orders the plaintiff to provide to the defendants specified further and better particulars of its claim, on the basis that (a), the rules of court expressly required that allegations of fraud be pleaded with particularity, and (b), in this case, the plaintiff had available to it at this stage far greater information than would normally be the case before discovery being made.

– Conor O’Higgins BL

The full text of each judgment can be found on: courts.ie. These reports are provided by Stare Decisis Hibernia: staredecisishibernia.com