This case involved three separate applicants who challenged, inter alia, the decisions to deport them notwithstanding that they had sought judicial review of their deportation orders. The first-named applicant filed an application for leave to bring judicial review proceedings seeking an order quashing his deportation order. The applicant’s solicitor faxed a letter to the Repatriation Unit of the Department of Justice informing the authorities that judicial review proceedings had been filed. No undertaking was given not to deport the applicant and no interim injunction had been granted. The authorities did not consider there to be any obligation not to deport the applicant. Having received no reply from the Department, the applicant’s solicitor sought an interim injunction, which was granted. The applicant was, nonetheless, deported.
The High court ordered that the applicants should be facilitated in their return to the State for the purpose of continuing to prosecute their judicial review proceedings in respect of the deportation orders made against them. The Court stated that the deliberate disobedience of a court order was a matter of the utmost gravity, but found that the Commissioner had not been aware of the making of the order.
The Respondents appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court held, inter alia, that no deportation may be implemented during the currency of the fourteen day period pursuant to Section 5 of the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Act 2000 and that if an application for leave to seek judicial review is brought within that period no deportation order may be implemented until the court determines the application for leave and only then if the court does not order otherwise upon the granting of leave.
The Court stated that, having regard to the nature and intent of the legislation, it was likely that a court, exercising its discretion, would normally grant an injunction if leave were granted. The Court also stated that people who challenge deportation orders outside the fourteen day period have prima facie no right to remain in the State and that the State is perfectly entitled to implement deportation in those cases.