COO and Others v Minister for Justice and Equality and Others

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Respondent/Defendant:Minister for Justice and Equality, Ireland and Attorney General
Court/s:High Court
Citation/s:[2015] IEHC 139
Nature of Proceedings:Judicial Review
Judgment Date/s:04 Mar 2015
Judge:Eagar J.
Category:Deportation
Keywords:Child, Deportation, Deportation Order, Minor
Country of Origin:Nigeria
URL:https://www.courts.ie/acc/alfresco/a401c3ff-3a11-4929-b5d1-415eb94f55a0/2015_IEHC_139_1.pdf/pdf#view=fitH
Geographic Focus:Ireland

Facts:
The applicants were a mother and her three children and were all Nigerian nationals. One of the children, the fourth applicant, was born in Ireland after his mother arrived here. They made unsuccessful applictions for declarations of refugee status, after which deportation orders were made against them by the Minister for Justice. They sought to quash the deportation orders in the High Court. Insofar as the children were concerned, they contended that the examination of their files pursuant to s. 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 which preceded the making of the orders did not refer to “the best interests of the child” and that, in respect of the child who had been born in Ireland, there had been no examination of his interests at all, his case having been subsumed completely into that of his mother’s. Separate analyses were, however, conducted in respect of his two siblings.

The High Court quashed the deportation order made in respect of the fourth applicant, who had been just over three and a half years of age when it was made.

Reasoning:
It held that s. 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 was quite clear in what the Minister had to have regard to when making deportation orders. It held that it was not sufficient for the Minister to consider the situation of a non Irish-citizen child born in Ireland in conjunction with that of its mother, the first applicant. It considered that the Minister had failed adequately to examine the position of the fourth applicant.

Decision:
The court quashed the deportation order in respect of the fourth applicant.

Principles:

The decision indicates that it may not be lawful, when making a deportation orders against a parent and a child, to conduct an analysis of their circumstances in a single decision, and that a separate decision may be needed for the child.

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