Judgments: Key cases in brief

Former husband restrained from bringing further court action without leave JMH v KH [2015]IESC 85 (Supreme Court, Charleton J, November 26th, 2015) The Supreme Court dismisses appeal from High Court, where applicant pursued court action against his former wife in a vexatious manner, and grants further orders: a) staying all proceedings brought by former husband; and b) restraining any further court applications unless leave granted by the president of the relevant court.

– Mark Tottenham BL

Fatal incident involving aircraft worker was not an "air accident" requiring further investigation Carroll v Air Accident Investigation Unit [2015]IESC (Supreme Court, MacMenamin J, November 26th, 2015) The Supreme Court dismisses an appeal from the High Court and affirms refusal to grant leave to seek order of mandamus by way of judicial review directing that the Air Accident Investigation Unit carry out an investigation into a fatal accident suffered by an aircraft maintenance worker, on grounds that: a) the applicant, another employee of the same company, did not have standing to bring the application; b) the respondent bodies did not have responsibility to investigate the accident, which did not constitute an "air accident" or "near miss" within the relevant legislation; and c) the incident had been investigated by the Health and Safety Authority, which had responsibility for workplace accidents.

– Mark Tottenham BL


Informed consent properly obtained by doctor from patient with pituitary tumour Healy v Buckley [2015]IECA 251 (Court of Appeal, Ryan (President), Nov 17th, 2015) The Court of Appeal dismisses an appeal from the High Court and affirms decision to dismiss claim for medical negligence arising from a decision by a doctor to prescribe a drug to a patient, finding it was not open to an appeal court to overturn findings of primary fact made by a trial judge that the doctor was not negligent in prescribing the drug and that the patient's consent was not vitiated by a lack of sufficient information about her condition.

– Ciaran Joyce BL

Supermarket's application to quash grant of "retention" planning permission was an abuse of process Dunnes Stores v An Bord Pleanála [2015]IEHC 716 (High Court, Barrett J, November 13th, 2015) The High Court refuses to quash planning authority's decision to grant "retention" planning permission permitting "cosmetic" alterations to a shopping centre of which the applicant supermarket was the anchor tenant, where the applicant itself did not oppose such alterations being made, but where the real purpose of the application for judicial review was to contrive a justification to avoid its legal obligations in separate proceedings.

– Ian Fitzharris BL Landlord had improper motive to withhold consent to the assignment of lease of licensed premises Perfect Pies Ltd v Chupn Ltd [2015]IEHC 692 (High Court, Haughton J, November 6th, 2015) The High Court: a) grants declaration that a landlord had unreasonably withheld consent to the assignment of the lease of a licensed premises that was in receivership, where the landlord wanted to take possession of the premises and had petitioned to wind up the lessee company, but had not informed his own solicitors of the other proceedings; but b) refuses to grant order dispensing with such consent on the grounds that there were other circumstances that might have made it reasonable to refuse consent.

– Shane Kiely BL

Personal injuries proceedings against local authority were statute barred O'Reilly v Collier [2015]IEHC 729 (High Court, Kearns P, November 20th, 2015) The High Court, by way of a preliminary issue in personal injuries proceedings, orders the release of a local authority from proceedings where the plaintiff failed to join the authority within the two-year time limit from his "date of knowledge" of the possibility of the defendant's liability arising from a road traffic accident in February 2010.

– Ian Fitzharris BL

Discovery of accountancy records refused on grounds of privilege Flannery v Walters [2015]IEHC 714 (High Court, McGovern J, November 4th, 2015) The High Court refuses defendants' application for further and better discovery of two categories of documentation, including some accountancy records, on the grounds that the records were prepared in connection with communication between a client and solicitor in connection with the litigation in question and were therefore privileged.

– Conor O’Higgins BL

Refusal of visa compelled a husband and wife to live apart Ford v Irish Minister for Justice [2015]IEHC 720 (High Court, Eagar J, November 19th, 2015) The High Court grants judicial review of the decision to refuse a visa to a Nigerian national married to an Irish citizen to enter and reside in the State, on the grounds that: a) the Minister failed to have regard to a letter sent by the Irish citizen setting out the details of her relationship with her husband; and b) the Minister did not did not appropriately consider the constitutional rights of the husband and wife in making a decision which by definition compelled the couple to live more or less permanently apart, and which was a significant interference by the State in their family rights.

– James Cross BL

These reports were prepared by Stare Decisis Hibernia StareDecisisHibernia.com) The full text of each judgment may be found on courts.ie