Preview of the coming week (7 – 11 of April): Six judgments due

On Monday (8 April), five judges, including the Chief Justice, will hear NAMA’s appeal of Mac Eochaidh J’s High Court determination (here) that it is a public authority for the purposes of Article 13 of the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations, 2007.

On Tuesday, in Dunne & Ors v Mahon & Ors, the Court will deliver its judgment in an appeal against Hogan J’s High Court decision (here) to grant an order for the dissolution of the Roadstone Group Sports Club, where a majority of the club’s full members had voted for that. His decision was informed by authority which says that there is an implication that majority rules apply to unincorporated associations, by analogy to s 205 of the Companies Act 1963 and by jurisprudence on Article 40.6.1 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to free association and the right not to associate with others.

Also on Tuesday, the Court will give reasons for its February decision in Siac Construction v Companies Act 1990. The Irish Times report is here. And the Court will issue its judgment in Grassland Fertilisers v Flinter Shipping BV. I cannot find any information on this case except it was in the list for the President of the High Court until October 2013 and the Supreme Court heard the case on the 12th of March.

On Wednesday, the Court will issue its judgment in Callely v Moylan. Senator Callely was living in his second home in West Cork and claiming expenses for travelling to Dublin. Subsequent to a newspaper report on his expenses, two members of the public complained that he should not be in receipt of travel expenses as his principal residence was in Dublin. The Committee of Members’ Interest in Seanad Eireann investigated the matter and determined that Callaley had intentionally misrepresented his normal place of residence and recommended that he be suspended from the Seanad for twenty days with a proportionate deduction from his salary. Callaly applied to the High Court for judicial review of the Committee’s decision.

In the High Court, O’Neill J (here) held that: a decision by the Committee of Members’ Interest in Seanad Eireann is judicially reviewable where the decision could affect a person’s Article 40 rights; that the Committee had acted ultra vires in making a political determination where it was obliged to act judicially; that the Committee had breached Callely’s constitutional right to fair procedure; that the Committee had misdirected itself in law on the definition of “normal place of residence”; and that the Committee did not allow Callely an opportunity to defend himself against the charge of breaching political ethics–even though he had complied with the applicable interpretation of normal place of residence.

On Thursday, the Court will issue its judgment in Farrell v The Govenor of St Patricks Institution. In the High Court (here), Hogan J held that the judge in Trim District Court did not have jurisdiction to order that Farrell be held on remand where the High Court had made an order staying the proceedings. Farrell, however, was serving a sentence for other offences, but the effect of the Order was that he was interned for one day longer than he should have been.

Also on Thursday, the Court will give judgment in TD v MJELR. In the High Court, Hogan J (here) granted TD permission, outside of the time limit allowed, to apply for judicial review of decisions by the Refugee Appeals Tribunal and the Minister not to grant her refugee status, where she had shown strong evidence that the Refugee Act 1996 is incompatible with Directive 2005/85/EC. TD argued that the Minister could not rely on the time limits as the Directive was not effectively transposed and time limitations are not enforceable where directive rights are directly effective. In another case, in a judgment delivered by Cooke J the following month (here), the High Court rejected an argument that the 1996 Act is not compatible with the Directive.

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