Landmark Decision on Naturalisation Application: M v. Minister for Justice [2024] IEHC 105


Olga Shajaku

In the case of M v. Minister for Justice, the High Court considered a judicial review application regarding the refusal of a South African national’s application for a certificate of naturalisation. The applicant, who had been residing in Ireland since 2021, had a history of multiple convictions related to road traffic offenses, including drink driving and careless driving. The decision to refuse the application was based on the Minister’s assessment that the applicant did not meet the statutory requirement of “good character” as outlined in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956.

The applicant argued that the decision was inconsistent, irrational, and disproportionate, and that inadequate reasons were provided. Additionally, the applicant contended that the Minister should have personally made the decision, rather than delegating it to an officer within the Department of Justice.

The court examined relevant jurisprudence, including previous decisions on the concept of “good character” and the application of the Carltona Principle regarding decision-making authority. It was established that while the Minister has the authority to delegate decision-making power, there was no clear restriction or prohibition on this delegation in the relevant legislation.

The court ultimately dismissed the applicant’s claims, finding that the decision to refuse the naturalisation application was rational and based on sufficient evidence. Furthermore, the court upheld the application of the Carltona Principle in this case. Costs were awarded to the respondent, pending further submissions from the parties.

Overall, the judgment represents a significant legal precedent regarding the assessment of good character in naturalisation applications and the delegation of decision-making authority within the Irish immigration system.

For the full case:


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