18 Aug 2022

Supreme Court dismisses appeal by man linked to Islamic terrorism

Supreme Court dismisses appeal by man linked to Islamic terrorism

Supreme Court dismisses appeal by man linked to Islamic terrorism

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal brought by a man allegedly involved with Islamic terrorism over decisions that resulted in his deportation from the state.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was deported to Jordan in 2016 on security grounds due to his alleged activities with groups including ISIL, ISIS, Daesh or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. 

The court heard that one of the man's sons was killed fighting in the Syrian Civil War. 

In his action against the minister, the man had sought orders including one setting aside the deportation order and compelling the minister to accept his application for asylum.  

He also asked the court to find he does not require the minister's consent to apply under the 1996 Refugee Act for a declaration of refugee status.

In 2016, the High Court dismissed his challenge against his deportation and the Minister for Justice's refusal in 2015 to consider the man's application for asylum.

He was removed from the state shortly after that decision. He appealed the High Court's decision to the Court of Appeal, which in 2018 upheld the lower court's judgments. 

He was permitted to bring an appeal relating to the minister's consideration of his asylum application before the Supreme Court.

The minister had opposed the appeal on grounds including that because the man had been deported his application was now moot or pointless.  

On Tuesday, a five-judge Supreme Court comprised of Mr Justice Donal O'Donnell, Mr Justice John MacMenamin, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne, Mr Justice Peter Charleton and Ms Justice Iseult O'Malley dismissed the man's appeal. 

Giving the court's decision, Mr Justice Charleton said what the man had raised in his appeal amounted to "an impermissible collateral attack on an earlier step in the proceedings."

Instead of challenging relevant decisions by the minister under the appropriate statutory procedure, the man had sought declarations that would have the effect of undermining a legal status that required to be judicially reviewed. 

Both the High Court and Court of Appeal had found this approach by the man as being inadmissible, and there were no exceptional circumstances justifying a departure from the general rule. 

Had those steps against administrative decisions taken by the minister in respect of the man been taken at an earlier point in the process, the judge said it was not possible to know if they would have brought about a successful outcome. 

What was not possible in the code of legislation dealing with international protection, the judge added, was the bringing of a later challenge in the guise of a separate argument. 

That new point, the judge said, was in substance an attempt to undermine a decision that was not challenged within the legal time limits allowed. In the circumstances, the appeal was dismissed and the lower court's decisions upheld.

The judge added that the case was not moot as had the man made a valid application, he would have enjoyed the benefit of the laws governing asylum and international protection.

The man came to Ireland in 2000 and remained here on the basis of having an Irish citizen child. He had initially applied for asylum but withdrew the application shortly afterwards on the basis of his Irish born child.

In 2015, the authorities decided not to renew his residency permit because the child had not been residing in the state and was living with his mother elsewhere.

After being told the state wanted to deport him, the man sought asylum and alleged the minister, who refused consent to allow him re-enter the asylum process, had unlawfully refused to make a decision on his application. 

The man claimed that he had been subjected to torture in Jordan in the 1990s due to his political views. 

The decision to deport him breached his rights under Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights, he had also claimed.

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