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*Law of Aliens

Published on March 26th, 2018 | by Georgia Archonti


Ireland Supreme Court rules on obligation to consider the position of the unborn child in decision to revoke deportation order concerning the father

On 7 March 2018, the Supreme Court of Ireland ruled in case M & ors vs Minister for Justice and Equality & ors, which concerned a Nigerian national who unsuccessfully applied for asylum in Ireland and who later received a deportation order. He applied for a revocation of the deportation order arguing, inter alia, that the Minister for Justice and Equality had to take into consideration the fact that he was soon to become the father of an Irish baby. The Minister maintained that there was no obligation to give any separate regard to the position of the unborn.

On appeal, the High Court of Ireland dissented from the Minister’s opinion and found that the Minister was obliged to have regard to the fact of the pregnancy and moreover to the likely impact of deportation on the rights which the Irish citizen child would acquire on birth. The High Court found that the unborn had actual existing constitutional rights which the Minister was obliged to consider that were not limited to Article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution (right to life of the unborn). It also decided that the unborn was a child for the purposes of Article 42A and was therefore protected by the provisions of that article.

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