Author: Dr Aoife McMahon
On 30th July 2015, the Irish Court of Appeal delivered judgments in two related cases concerning the right to respect for private life under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) (Dos Santos v. Minister for Justice and Equality  IECA 210 and C.I. v. Minister for Justice and Equality  IECA 192). These were cases in which deportation orders against each member of a family unit were challenged. Given that there was no prospect of a rupture of the family unit, the right to respect for family life was not an issue.
The facts of Dos Santos are summarised here and those of CI here. In both instances appeals were made before the Court of Appeal, which ultimately held against the applicants in both cases on two principal grounds:
- In the Dos Santos case, it was held that given that Ireland operated a dualist system of law and that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) had not been adopted into domestic law, the relevant provisions of Irish law could not be construed as requiring that the best interests of the child be a primary consideration in determining whether or not to make a deportation order;
- The decisions in both cases that the alleged interference with the right to private life under article 8 ECHR did not have consequences of such gravity to potentially engage its operation were held to be reasonable.