Ezeike v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform


Respondent/Defendant:Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform
Court/s:High Court
Citation/s:[2010] IEHC 110
Nature of Proceedings:Injunction
Judgment Date/s:15 Apr 2010
Judge:Cooke J
Keywords:Deportation, Protection (Subsidiary)
Country of Origin:Nigeria
Geographic Focus:Ireland
References:Cosma v. Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform

The Applicant, a newly-wed Nigerian citizen, made an unsuccessful application for subsidiary protection. The Minister duly made a deportation order against her. She was then granted leave by the High Court to seek judicial review of the Minister’s decision on her subsidiary protection application, and a date was set for the substantive hearing of her case. In order to prevent the Applicant’s deportation order before the case was heard, her lawyers sought an interlocutory injunction restraining the Minister from executing the deportation order.

The High Court applied the usual test for the grant of interlocutory injunction designed to maintain the status quo of the parties pending the determination of a proceeding:

  1. has the Applicant raised a fair issue to be tried in the substantive proceeding?;
  2. would damages be an adequate remedy if the injunction is refused and the substantive claim is ultimately successful?; and
  3. if not, where does the balance of convenience lie as between granting or refusing the injunction?

The Court held that the Applicant had raised a fair issue to be tried. Cooke J. considered that it was not easy to determine whether damages would be an adequate remedy in the context of a possible deportation but found that an unnecessary interruption of the married life of a newly married couple is not capable of being remedied adequately by pecuniary compensation.

Finally, the Court found that there were a number of considerations in the present case which weighed the balance of convenience in the Applicant’s favour: firstly, there was an outstanding judicial review proceeding for which leave had been granted and it was not unreasonable that a litigant who has invoked a right of access to the High Court should be entitled to be present at the hearing of the case; secondly, the hearing was scheduled for 10 weeks time and the inconvenience to the State of postponing her deportation for that period was less than the likely disruption to the Applicant’s personal circumstances; and thirdly there was no suggestion that the Applicant might abscond or otherwise constitute some form of risk to the integrity of the asylum and immigration citizen.

For these reasons the High Court granted an injunction restraining the deportation of the Applicant pending the hearing of the substantive action in her judicial review of the Minister’s decision on her subsidiary protection application, and thereafter pending the final determination of the proceeding.

Principles:The Court may grant an interlocutory injunction preventing a person’s deportation pending the determination of a judicial review.
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