Judgments: key cases in brief


New evidence of female genital mutilation was not properly considered in a decision not to revoke deportation order. HK & Ors vs Minister for Justice (2014) IEHC 506 (High Court, Barr J, October 1st).

The High Court grants a judicial review of decision not to revoke deportation orders made against a Nigerian woman and her children, on the grounds that medical evidence that one of the daughters had been subjected to female genital mutilation constituted new and specific evidence which needed to be considered in its own right, and consequently it was not sufficient to refer back to the original decision, which was clearly based on an absence of any such medical evidence.

– James Cross BL

Judicial authority was not obliged to provide amplifying information in a European arrest warrant application. Minister for Justice vs Palonka (2014) IEHC 515 (High Court, Edwards J, November 4th). 

The High Court orders the surrender of the respondent to Poland pursuant to a European arrest warrant, on the grounds that having interpreted the relevant legislation, the court was not precluded by the terms of the applicable legislation from surrendering the respondent, and supplementary information was not required to be included in the documentation to ground an order of surrender.

– Ciarán Joyce BL

The District Court in Donegal had no jurisdiction to deal with Dublin charges. O’Malley vs DPP (2014) IEHC 524 (High Court, McDermott J, November 7th). 

The High Court: a) grants a judicial review of a decision by the District Court in Donegal to hear and determine charges concerning offences committed in Dublin, notwithstanding that the accused had pleaded guilty, on the grounds that the court had no jurisdiction; and b), remits matters to be heard by the Dublin Metropolitan District Court.

– Ciarán Joyce BL

An online social network’s defence to defamation proceedings was not scandalous or vexatious. McKeogh vs John Doe 1 (2014) IEHC 454 (High Court, Gilligan J, July 16th). 

The High Court, in injunction proceedings relating to the publication on a social media website of false and defamatory material, refuses the plaintiff’s application seeking, inter alia, the striking out of a part of the defence, on the grounds that the specific paragraphs were (a), relevant as they were in direct response to the case made by the plaintiff, (b), allegations of fact, not evidence, and (c), not advancing some view at variance with fairness, commonsense, justice, a constitutional right or decency.

– Conor O’Higgins BL

Uncontradicted exculpatory evidence was admissible and had to be given due weight. DPP vs Burke (2014) IEHC 483 (High Court, Baker J, October 17th). 

The High Court, by way of a consultative case stated from the District Court, in a case where the uncontradicted evidence of a prosecution witness in an assault trial disclosed an exculpatory version of events, determines a), that evidence which was not tested by way of cross-examination was admissible, and b), that such untested evidence had to be given due weight by the trial judge.

– Ciarán Joyce BL

The plaintiff established good reason to renew a summons in a medical negligence claim. Mangan vs Dockery (2014) IEHC 477 (High Court, Costello J, October 23rd). 

The High Court refuses an application to set aside an order renewing personal injury summons in a medical negligence claim against a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist by a plaintiff suffering from severe quadriplegia, where the summons had originally been issued five years previously, on grounds that the plaintiff’s solicitor had made bona fide efforts to secure a relevant expert medical opinion.

– Ian Fitzharris BL

A local authority was not liable for the failure to repair a defect in a footpath. McCabe vs South Dublin County Council (2014) IEHC 529 (High Court, Hogan J, November 18th). 

The High Court, on appeal from the Circuit Court, dismisses a claim against local authority for personal injuries arising from a fall on a public footpath, on grounds that the failure of the local authority to repair the footpath was an act of non-feasance, not misfeasance, and that there was a longstanding rule that liability only attached in cases of non-feasance.

– Ian Fitzharris BL

The Refugee Appeals Tribunal fell short of its duty to give a clear, reasoned and rational decision. MCA vs Refugee Appeals Tribunal (2014) IEHC 504 (High Court, Barr J, October 1st). 

The High Court grants a judicial review of a decision to refuse asylum to a Nigerian national who claimed to fear persecution on account of his sexuality, on the grounds that the Refugee Appeals Tribunal fell short of its duty to give a clear, reasoned and rational decision.

– James Cross BL

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