Damache v Minister for Justice

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Damache v Minister for Justice
Respondent/Defendant:Minister for Justice
Court/s:Supreme Court
Citation/s:[2020] IESC 63
Nature of Proceedings:Judicial review/appeal
Judgment Date/s:14 Oct 2020
Judge:Dunne E
Keywords:Citizenship, Citizenship (Loss of), Naturalisation
Country of Origin:Algeria


The applicant was an Algerian national who had been granted a certificate of naturalisation but subsequently pleaded guilty in the United States to a charge of materially assisting in an Islamist terrorist conspiracy. The Minister subsequently issued a proposal to revoke the applicant’s naturalisation on the basis that he had failed in his duty of loyalty and fidelity to the State. The applicant instituted judicial review proceedings challenging the procedure by which revocation of naturalisation is determined under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956. The applicant complained inter alia that that the fact that the Minister initiated the revocation process, appointed the committee charged with conducting the inquiry and then reached the final decision was in breach of the constitutional right to fair procedures.

Principles:Section 19 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 was unconstitutional because it did not provide the procedural safeguards required to meet the high standards of natural justice applicable to a person facing revocation of naturalisation by reason of the absence of an impartial and independent decision maker.
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