Mohammed Younis Succeeds in the Supreme Court

Younis PicIn August 2012, the Irish High Court ruled that as Mohammad Younis was in an irregular migration situation, he could not benefit from protections under employment law (see also Dr Darius Whelan‘s excellent analysis of the High Court decision here). Today (25 June 2015), the Supreme Court set aside the decision of the High Court. The decision was set aside, not on any explicit repudiation of the High Court’s analysis of employment law, employment contracts and irregular migrant workers, but on the basis of strict adherence to the role of a court in judicial review proceedings. Rather than focus on the human rights arguments pleaded before it, the Supreme Court simply considered the jurisdiction of the High Court to make its August 2012 decision. The Rights Commissioner made two monetary awards to to Mr. Younis in March 2011.

For breaches by Mr Hussein (Mr Younis’ employer) of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, the Rights Commissioner awarded the sum of €5,000 to Mr. Younis. For breaches of minimum wage legislation over a number of years, Mr. Younis was awarded €86,134.42. As Mr Hussein did not appeal this decision, but did not pay Mr. Younis compensation. the Labour Court issued two determinations that these sums be paid in September 2011.

In setting aside the decision of the High Court, Murray J. in the Supreme Court noted: Continue reading “Mohammed Younis Succeeds in the Supreme Court”

Mohammed Younis Succeeds in the Supreme Court

Ireland's Asylum & Direct Provision System under the Spotlight in Northern Ireland High Court

NI High CourtToday, the High Court of Northern Ireland in Belfast issued a decision that could have  a knock on impact on the Republic of Ireland’s asylum system. The judgement, In the Matter of an Application for Judicial Review by ALJ and A, B and C [2013] NIQB 88 (14 August 2013), is substantial. The core focus in this post are comments made by the judge in the case, Mr Justice Stephens, on the Irish asylum and direct provision systems. The full facts of the case can be found from paragraphs [1] to [30] of the judgment. Throughout the judgement, Mr Justice Stephens outlines in detail his significant discomfort with the asylum status determination system and the system of direct provision in the Republic of Ireland.

Factual Context

The applicants had made a claim for refugee status in the Republic of Ireland in 2010 on the basis that the applicants would face persecution as non-Sudanese Darfuris. This application was rejected by ROI in 2011. The applicants subsequently made an application for subsidiary protection in April 2011. However, in July 2011, the applicants entered Northern Ireland and applied for asylum. Under EU Law,  the Dublin II Regulation, the UK authorities sought to return the applicants to the Republic of Ireland. The applicants challenged the decision of the UK Border Agency to return them to Ireland and argued that discretion should be exercised not to return them to the Republic of Ireland, under Article 3(2) of the Dublin II Regulation. The applicants contended that return to the Republic of Ireland’s refugee and protection status determination system, with its minuscule recognition rates and the system of direct provision, would violate their rights under Article 4 & Article 7 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights (EUCFR). Article 4 EUCFR protects against torture, inhuman and degrading treatment. Article 7 EUCFR protects the right to private and family life.

Refugee & Protection status determination process

Although not “systematically deficient”, Stephens J. stated Continue reading “Ireland's Asylum & Direct Provision System under the Spotlight in Northern Ireland High Court”

Ireland's Asylum & Direct Provision System under the Spotlight in Northern Ireland High Court