Two judgments listed for this week: On the Extradition Act 1965 and the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002

The Supreme Court diary has two judgments listed for this week, both on Tuesday, 24th of  October. Both cases are appeals from the Court of Appeal and both were heard by a panel of five judges.

 

H v The Residential Institutions Redress Review Committee & anor

As a child, during the 1960s, H was a patient and resident of  the National Children’s Hospital. In 1962, the Children’s Hospital suspected H had rheumatic fever and transferred him to St Gabriel’s Hospital (a private, voluntary institution). H was in St Gabriel’s for a period of approximately two years on the first occasion and again for a period of one year in 1965. St Gabriel’s applied treatments  that had no scientific justification and that were seen as heterodox even by the standards of that time. That included keeping children in a sedated state for long periods. It is not contested that H suffered abuse in St Gabriel’s. The issue is whether H is entitled to compensation under the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002, as the Children’s Hospital is one of the institutions covered under that legislation, but St Gabriel’s isn’t. The Court certified the following questions:

1. Could a decision by a scheduled institution as prescribed by the 2002 Act to transfer a child to a non-scheduled institution constitute abuse within the meaning of the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002?

2. In making a determination that such a decision constituted abuse within the meaning of the Act, was the Respondent entitled to apply common law principles of negligence including the principle of foreseeability, having regard to

(a) the definition of abuse in s. 1 of the Act, which includes “the wilful, reckless or negligent infliction of physical injury on, or failure to prevent such injury to, the child”, and
(b) the prohibition on addressing or making findings relating to any issue of fault or negligence set out in s.5 of the Act?

 

Attorney General v Lee

In 2011, the United States of America applied to have Lee extradited from Ireland to stand trial for 51 offences, including unlawful money transactions, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. The US alleges that all of the offences took place within the US, and no part of the offences took place within this state. S 15 of the Extradition Act 1965 (amended since the commencement of this case) states:

Extradition shall not be granted where the offence for which it is requested is regarded under the law of the State as having been committed in the State.

Lee has established that he was outside of the US at the time that some of the offences took place, and that it is likely that he was within the jurisdiction of the State. Granting leave, the Court’s determination concludes:

19. In the view of this Court, the following points only properly arise. These are, whether the Court of Appeal erred in deciding that:

(a) there was a distinction to be made between an offence which was regarded as having been committed within the State, and an offence committed in another state, over which extraterritorial jurisdiction is claimed under Irish Law?
(b) in determining that, in the latter case, such an offence could not be said to be an offence which “is regarded under the law of the State as having been committed in the State”, for the purposes of s.15 of the Extradition Act, 1965?

This Court will also consider whether:
(c) the judgment of this Court in Attorney General v. Pocevicius [2015] IESC was correctly decided?
20. The appeal is, therefore, confined to determining whether, in the event that any of the matters specified at (a), (b), (c) above are resolved in favour of the applicant, such finding would result in a reversal of the decision of the Court of Appeal.

 

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