MA v Minister for Justice and Others

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Respondent/Defendant:Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Ireland and the Attorney General
Court/s:High Court
Citation/s:[2015] IEHC 287
Nature of Proceedings:Judicial Review
Judgment Date/s:06 May 2015
Judge:MacEochaidh J.
Category:Refugee Law
Keywords:Protection (Subsidiary), Refugee
Country of Origin:Afghanistan
Geographic Focus:Ireland

The applicant, an Afghan national, sought certiorari of a decision of the Minister for Justice refusing him subsidiary protection, contending that it was based upon a flawed internal relocation finding. The Minister objected that that complaint was not pleaded in the statement of grounds. The court allowed the complaint to proceed and quashed the subsidiary protection decision.

The High Court expressed some sympathy for the view that the internal relocation argument was not pleaded in the applicant’s challenge. However, it allowed the challenge to proceed, noting that the pleadings were just about wide enough to embrace the issue. It noted that the internal relocation finding was based on country of origin information and that the pleadings made numerous complaints about the misuse of such information and, therefore, could be said to encompass the alleged misuse of the information which led to the flawed internal relocation finding. It considered that it was entitled to take a generous view of the pleadings because the court, as an organ of the State, had a duty under Article 4 (3) of the Treaty of the European Union (TEU)  to ensure that the obligations of EU law were achieved and the multiple breaches of Article 8 of the Directive not be permitted to stand.

The court quashed the subsidiary protection decision.


This decision shows that, in an effort to ensure that EU law obligations are achieved, the Court will not shut out an applicant from relief because his pleadings challenging an administrative decision lack the specificity normally required.

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