GC v Minister for Justice

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Respondent/Defendant:Minister for Justice
Court/s:High Court
Citation/s:[2017] IEHC 215
Nature of Proceedings:Judicial Review
Judgment Date/s:04 Apr 2017
Judge:O’Regan M.
Category:EU Treaty Rights
Keywords:EU Treaty Rights, Free Movement, Freedom of Movement (Right to), Protection (International), Removal Order
Country of Origin:Romania
URL:https://www.courts.ie/acc/alfresco/22a7c887-3ca6-4a73-b5c3-5944bd0c9dab/2017_IEHC_215_1.pdf/pdf#view=fitH
Geographic Focus:Other

Facts:

The applicant was a Romanian citizen who had permanent residence in Ireland. In 2015 he was convicted of assault and sentenced to three years and six months in prison with the final two years suspended. The Minister subsequently issued a removal order in respect of the applicant together with a three year exclusion order. The applicant instituted proceedings challenging the removal order for being disproportionate and in breach of EU law. The applicant asserted that he was generally a person of good character, had no previous convictions, had not been arrested, charged or convicted of any offence since his release, had been cooperative with An Garda Síochána and in the circumstances argued that the decision amounted to a further extra-judicial sanction by attempting to remove the applicant solely on the basis of his previous conviction.

Reasoning:

The High Court rejected the applicant’s challenge. The court was satisfied that the decision was not arrived at based upon the conviction only, and that the decisionmaker did in fact take into account all of the circumstances of mitigation identified by the applicant. The court was satisfied that a proportionate decision was arrived at bearing in mind the nature of the offence and the impact on the victim. Although the court was satisfied that it was not for either the applicant or the court to attribute the appropriate weight to the mitigating circumstances and other matters, the court was nonetheless satisfied that the decision made was fair and proportionate.

Decision:

Challenge to removal order dismissed.

Principles:

This decision establishes that a decision-maker is not obliged as a general rule to conduct his or her own investigations in order to establish the authenticity of a document relied on by an applicant for international protection.

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