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Important Recent Decision of The Jurisdiction of the High Court

By March 23, 2023June 26th, 2024No Comments

Important Recent Decision of The Jurisdiction of the High Court

In a recent case of M v M, Mr Justice Simons made it clear that a decision of the Circuit court could not have the effect of ousting the jurisdiction of the High Court, which has a supervisory role in respect of all decisions made by the Circuit Court.

In this case, the Respondent had argued that the decision to grant leave to bring Judicial review proceedings be set aside on the basis of an Isaac Wunder order made previously by the Circuit Court. An Isaac Wunder order is an order made by the Court stating that any future applications to Court can only be made with the permission of the Judge in question. The argument being made was that the Isaac Wunder order prevented the Court hearing a Judicial review application as the Circuit Court Judge had not given the applicant permission to bring this application.

Mr Justice Simons said that the jurisdiction of the High Court to hear the Judicial Review application could not be obstructed in any way by a decision of the Circuit Court i.e. the Isaac Wunder order could not prevent the Applicant from bringing a Judicial Review application.

The second issue before the Court was the manner in which the Applicant had brought his ex parte application seeking leave to bring Judicial Review proceedings. The Applicant claimed in the ex parte (one party only) application that the Circuit Court Judge had allowed in evidence in respect of which no oral testimony was given or set out in writing and that an application by the Applicant’s barrister to cross-examine the respondent in respect of arrears of maintenance had been refused.

Mr Justice Simons stated that had he known all of the facts at the initial application to seek leave on an ex parte basis. He would not have granted to leave to reply for Judicial Review. He said that the misstatements and omissions from the Statement of Grounds and Verifying Affidavit of the Applicant could not be overlooked as they go to the very heart of the Applicant’s case.

On this ground, (and not on the jurisdictional argument) the court allowed the Respondent’s appeal, i.e. that the Applicant was not allowed bring Judicial Review Proceedings.

This case highlights the supervisory jurisdiction of the High Court in relation to Circuit Court decisions. It also highlights the importance of Applicants who come to court on an ex parte (one party only) basis that they must present all relevant facts and bring these to the attention of the court. Failure to do so can be fatal to their case when it comes back before the Court.

For further information in relation to this or any other litigation matter please don’t hesitate to contact Brendan Dillon, Conor Cleary or Donna Phelan on 012960666.