AGA and Another v Minister for Justice

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Respondent/Defendant:Minister for Justice and Equality
Court/s:High Court
Citation/s:[2015] IEHC 469
Nature of Proceedings:Judicial Review
Judgment Date/s:16 Jul 2015
Judge:Stewart J.
Category:Residence
Keywords:Child, Family Life (Right to), Minor, Residence
Country of Origin:United Kingdom and Nigeria
URL:https://www.courts.ie/acc/alfresco/bd762853-57c9-4297-bf9e-16e9066bb537/2015_IEHC_469_1.pdf/pdf#view=fitH
Geographic Focus:Ireland

Facts:
The applicants, who were mother and daughter, sought to quash a decision of the Minister for Justice whereby she refused the first applicant’s application for residency, which was based on the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in C-200/02 Zhu and Chen. They claimed that the second applicant was a national of the United Kingdom residing in the State; that the first applicant was her primary parental carer; that the applicants were residing with a named person; that both applicants had comprehensive private sickness insurance cover; and that the first applicant’s partner, an Irish national, had sufficient resources to provide for the applicants and he made financial provision for them. The application was refused on the basis that there was no evidence to show that the first applicant had sufficient resources to support herself or her daughter. The applicants obtained ex parte leave to challenge the decision.

The court upheld the Minister’s decision.

Reasoning:
It considered that the practicality of the second applicant’s situation was that she has no resources of her own, and such resources as might be imputed to her would have to be supplied to her by her mother, the first applicant. However, the first applicant also had no apparent resources of her own and was dependent upon the support of third parties, namely a man who, it was stated, provided her with a weekly sum of money and paid day-care for the second applicant, and a woman, who let them live rent free with her.

The court held that the Minister was entitled to inquire into the resources available to the primary parental carer. The third parties giving her support were not related to the second applicant and did not supply any resources directly to her but rather supplied them to her mother. It rejected the applicants’ contention that any potential resources from any source constituted sufficient resources. Such an argument, in its view, was incompatible with CJEU caselaw that national authorities were entitled to check the existence, amount and availability of the alleged resources in any given case.

The Minister was entitled to investigate those resources at the outset. In this case, the court held that the Minister’s decision had clearly stated that there had not been adequate evidence submitted as to the sufficiency of resources, namely as to their existence, amount and availability contemplated by the CJEU, and that the Minister was entitled to have regard to that.

Decision:
The court therefore upheld the impugned decision.

Principles:

In deciding whether a primary carer of a minor (who is a citizen of the European Union) has sufficient resources, the Minister for Justice is entitled to investigate whether such resources exist and inquires into their amount and availability.

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