Rights groups disappointed with ruling on deportation


Human rights and refugee lobby groups say they are very disappointed with yesterday's Supreme Court decision which paves the way for more deportations.

The judgment is expected to allow the authorities to begin processing hundreds of deportations which had been put on hold pending yesterday's ruling.

A Department of Justice spokesman said there were up to 80 other cases on file where people had challenged deportation on the same grounds as those used in this case. Legal sources last night, however, estimated the ruling would have implications for hundreds more failed asylum-seekers in the court appeals process.

The Irish Refugee Council said it was concerned people would face deportation without hearing why their claims to remain here were refused.

"An individual who is facing deportation, and possibly human rights abuses, should always be informed personally as to why she or he is being deported, rather than simply receiving a standardised letter," said Mr Dug Cubie, the council's legal officer. "This is essential for transparency of decision-making and for individuals to be able to challenge an unjustifiable deportation order." Mr Donncha O'Connell, from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, said the decision was "another procedural blow to asylum-seekers which strikes at their substantive rights and will, inevitably, lead to an intensification of the deportation process".

He said: "Because it removes a vital and common basis upon which someone would seek to challenge their deportation, it will inevitably deter people from actually bringing such a challenge."

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said officials were studying yesterday's judgment and would individually examine between 50 and 80 similar cases. He said before deportation orders were issued, asylum-seekers went through a detailed process, including an initial hearing followed by an appeal, with free legal aid available.