The applicant had been refused asylum at first instance but the material used in reaching this decision was defective in that the English translation of the Romanian questionnaire form omitted a portion of the answer to question 84, which provided the applicant with an opportunity to set out the basis of his claim. The applicant appealed to the Appeals Authority, and this appeal was still pending when the matter came on for judicial review.
The Court held that the defect rendered the decision at first instance either ultra vires or in breach of fair procedures. The Court also rejected the argument that the appeal to the Appeals Authority constituted an adequate alternative remedy to that of judicial review, on the basis that an insufficiency of fair procedures at first instance is not cured by a sufficiency on appeal. The matter was remitted for fresh consideration to the Commissioner. The Minister appealed to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court refused the appeal, holding that the decision at first instance should be quashed and that the Hope Hanlon procedure involved two separate decisions, one by the person authorised by the Minister and the other by the Appeals Authority.