High Court Judicial Review: AC v. International Protection Authorities [2024] IEHC 77


Olga Shajaku

In the legal proceedings of AC v. International Protection Authorities, the High Court deliberated on a multifaceted case concerning the transfer of AC, an Algerian national, under the Dublin III Regulation. The judgment, delivered by Ms. Justice Hyland on 12th February 2024, presents a detailed analysis of the grounds for judicial review and the application for an injunction, shedding light on the complexities of international protection law and procedural fairness.

Introduction: The case revolves around AC’s application for international protection in Ireland, initiated in April 2022. Central to the proceedings is Regulation 604/2013, commonly known as the Dublin III Regulation, which governs the allocation of responsibility among EU Member States in asylum matters.

Factual Background: AC’s journey into the legal fray began with his application for asylum in Ireland after irregularly crossing into Spain from Algeria. The International Protection Office (IPO) initiated proceedings for his transfer to Spain under the Dublin III Regulation, a decision that AC contested through an Article 17 request to the Minister for Justice. This request invoked discretionary grounds, citing risks of destitution and onward refoulement if returned to Spain.

Legal Analysis: The court meticulously dissected the legal framework underpinning AC’s claims, including the sovereignty clause of Article 17, which allows Member States to depart from transfer obligations under certain circumstances. The judgment scrutinized the IPO’s authority to make transfer determinations and the procedural intricacies of the Article 17 application process.

Leave to Seek Judicial Review: Ms. Justice Hyland granted leave on specific grounds, delineating the threshold for challenging decisions under the Dublin III Regulation. The court emphasized the importance of substantial grounds for challenging IPAT decisions regarding transfers, contrasting it with the lower threshold for arguability in such cases.

Injunction Application: AC’s application for an injunction rested on the contention that the Minister’s failure to decide on the Article 17 request warranted a halt to the transfer process. The court engaged in a delicate balancing act, weighing the potential prejudice to both parties against the principles of procedural fairness and the need for timely decision-making.

Conclusion: Ultimately, the court granted the injunction, citing the Minister’s failure to decide on the Article 17 application within a reasonable timeframe. Despite the imminent deadline for transfer under the Dublin III Regulation, the court underscored AC’s entitlement to a decision before his transfer, ensuring procedural fairness and upholding the integrity of the asylum process.

In essence, the judgment in AC v. International Protection Authorities exemplifies the judiciary’s role in safeguarding individuals’ rights in the complex realm of international protection law, balancing legal principles with considerations of fairness and equity.Judicial Review and Injunction Application in AC v. International Protection Authorities

For the full case:https://www.courts.ie/acc/alfresco/f5518126-801f-499a-a303-041dd2a48e4d/2024_IEHC_77.pdf/pdf#view=fitH


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