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No unfairness in decision to dismiss Garda from force

By: James Cross BL

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High Court refuses judicial review of a determination that the continued membership of An Garda Síochána by the appellant would undermine public confidence in the force by reason of his conduct, and that it was necessary to dismiss him to maintain that confidence, on the grounds that the proceedings are misconceived and premature in that no second-stage opinion had been formed by the Respondent as set out in the relevant legislation, and the applicant had not established that there has been any breach of his constitutional rights to fair procedures natural justice or the presumption of innocence.

Judicial review – An Garda Siochana – challenge to the determination that the continued membership of An Garda Síochána would undermine public confidence in An Garda Síochána by reason of his conduct, and that it is necessary to dismiss the Applicant to maintain that confidence – Guard removed a “Bluetooth” speaker and charging cables from a seized vehicle – used the speaker - informed that he was under investigation for the theft of the speaker - suspended from duty - criminal investigation was commenced and an investigation by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission - opinion that the applicant’s continued membership is untenable – representations made – judicial review proceedings – grounds – affidavit evidence – statement of opposition – relevant legislation – legislation does not circumscribe in any way the manner or content of a response by a relevant member to the stated basis for the opinion formed by the Commissioner – entitled to make representations – no second-stage opinion has been formed – no consideration by the respondent of the response by the member to the first-stage opinion – correspondence – process consistent with natural justice - not for the Court to prescribe the manner in which the respondent expresses himself - between the first-stage opinion and the second-stage opinion is a statutorily prescribed process - a valid basis for the first-stage opinion – could not be said to be irrational - clear and rational basis given by the respondent for the first–stage opinion he came to – respondent has not already formed an opinion – no request for oral hearing – request for oral hearing not refused - relevant legal authorities - present application is misconceived and premature - applicant has not established that there has been any breach of his constitutional rights to fair procedures natural justice or the presumption of innocence and the applicant is not entitled to an order of certiorari – judicial review refused -

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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