Recent Judgments: Key cases in brief

By May 6, 2015 No Comments

The failure to present certain evidence in court did not amount to misconduct by solicitors

 Maverley vs Clarke IEHC 232 (High Court, Kearns P,April 20th, 2015) 

The High Court dismisses an appeal from the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and affirms the finding that there was no prima facie case of misconduct against solicitors who had acted in an action that was dismissed, where the solicitor – on the advice of senior counsel – had removed certain evidence from booklets to be handed into court.

– Mark Tottenham BL


A company could not be represented in court by a director and majority shareholder 

McDonald vs McCaughey Developments Ltd IEHC 455 (High Court, Gilligan J, July 31st, 2014) 

The High Court, in a claim against a company by a receiver of assets, refuses to allow the company to be represented by a director and majority shareholder, where the company had insufficient funds to instruct a solicitor or counsel.

– Mark Tottenham BL


The court had no jurisdiction to compel a bank or solicitors to explain certain matters after settlement of an action 

AIB vs Hanrahan IECA 77 (Court of Appeal, Kelly J, April 13th, 2015) 

The Court of Appeal, in a matter that had been settled between the parties, refuses to order the plaintiff bank or its solicitors to provide explanations concerning the payment of life insurance monies directly to the bank without informing the defendant, on the grounds that the court had no jurisdiction to make the orders sought.

– Ciarán Joyce BL


A professional negligence and breach of contract claim against solicitors is dismissed 

Vesey vs Kent Carty Solicitors & Anor IEHC 221 (High Court, O’Malley J,April 14th, 2015) 

The High Court dismisses a claim for professional negligence and breach of contract against solicitors who acted for the plaintiff in personal injuries action, on the basis that a), the plaintiff had given different accounts of his medical and employment history to varying doctors and the court, and b), the defendant solicitors had honoured an undertaking they had given to repay certain moneys to the bank.

– Shane Kiely BL


A bank did not delay in repossession proceedings

 Bank of Ireland vs KellyIEHC 230 (High Court, Kearns P, April 17th, 2015)

 The High Court refuses a defendant’s motion to strike out the plaintiff bank’s proceedings on the grounds of alleged delay where a), the bank had genuinely attempted to compromise the proceedings during the three-year period of alleged delay, b), the defendants did not adequately engage with the plaintiff bank and c), no prejudice could be shown by the defendant.

– Shane Kiely BL


The constitutional rights of a married couple were lawfully considered in a refusal to revoke a deportation order 

SA vs Minister for Justice IEHC 226 (High Court, Mac Eochaidh J, April 14th, 2015) 

The High Court refuses a judicial review of the refusal by the Minister for Justice to revoke a deportation order against a man who had claimed to be from Sierra Leone but was in fact from Nigeria, where he had married an Irish citizen without informing her that he had been refused asylum, on the grounds that the manner in which the constitutional rights of the married couple were assessed was lawful and that the decision was proportionate.

– James Cross BL


The inadequacy of the mechanism to determine whether a person was a victim of human trafficking 

P vs Chief Superintendent of the Garda National Immigration Bureau, IEHC 222 (High Court, O’Malley J, April 15th, 2015) 

The High Court a) refuses to set aside leave to seek a judicial review of the transposition of European legislation concerning human trafficking into Irish law, notwithstanding non-disclosure by the applicant (a Vietnamese national, in detention pending her trial on drugs charges) of her illegal presence in Germany 20 years previously, and b), determines that the legislation had not been properly transposed on grounds that the State had failed to adopt an appropriate mechanism to determine whether a person who was suspected of committing a criminal offence was the victim of human trafficking.

– James Cross


An Irish citizen lacking the capacity to manage their own affairs was entitled to return to Ireland from hospital in UK 

Health Service Executive vs JBIEHC 216 (High Court, O’Hanlon J, March 5th, 2015) 

The High Court a), determines that an Irish citizen detained in a UK hospital lacked capacity to manage his own affairs, b), determines that there should be a transitioning period to enable his safe and orderly return to Ireland where he had expressed a wish to do so and where he had a constitutional right as a citizen to reside in the state where possible and c), recommends that a committee of doctors be formed to oversee his transition to Ireland.

– Shane Kiely BL


A miscarriage of justice victim is entitled to documents recording the reasons for the failure to call a witness 

Wall vs Minister for Justice IEHC 679 (High Court, White J, March 20th, 2015) 

The High Court, in an action against the State for damages arising from a miscarriage of justice, a), makes orders of discovery relating to the reasons for directing that a witness not be called for the prosecution involving the giving of false testimony, on the grounds that the documentation sought was relevant and necessary for disposing fairly of the litigation, but b), refuses to order non-party discovery against the Director of Public Prosecutions, who was not a servant or agent of the State for the purposes of the application.

– Ciarán Joyce The full text of each judgment can be found on These reports are provided by Stare Decisis Hibernia: