On Friday last, March 25th 2011, in ED v DPP the High Court ruled that section 12 of the Immigration Act 2004 was unconstitutional. Section 12 provided that non-national persons (other than those born in Ireland or under the age of 16) shall on the demand of an immigration officer or member of the Garda Síochána, produce (a) a valid passport or other equivalent document, issued by or on behalf of an authority recognised by the Government, which establishes his or her identity and nationality, and (b) in case he or she is registered or deemed to be registered under the Act, his or her registration certificate. Failure to produce the required documentation without providing a satisfactory explanation of the circumstances which prevented the person from so doing was deemed an offence punishable by a fine of up to €3000 or imprisonment for up to 12 months or both.
While the judgment itself is as yet unavailable, the Irish Times reports that the finding of unconstitutionality by the High Court centred on the vagueness and uncertainty of the legislative provision, rather than on the concept of requiring the production of identification documents in and of itself. Continue reading “Non-National Failure to Produce ID Offence Deemed Unconstitutional”