The latest PILA bulletin discusses the recent decision on the case of Sivsivadze v Minister for Justice. The High Court held that the Minister’s power to deport individuals is “not incompatible with rights to family life or marriage enshrined in the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case regarded the sections of the Immigration Act of 1999 that dealt with the Minister’s power to deport individuals. The applicant’s argue that these sections, section 3(1) and 3(11), were “invalid having regard to the provisions of the Constitution.” Expulsion from the state is indefinite, perhaps lifelong, and the applicants argued that such a sentence is disproportionate.
The Judge in the case must be assessed under the proportionality test laid out in the case of Heaney v Ireland. The PILA article states that “the three-pronged test says that restrictions to rights are permitted by the Constitution where such restrictions are (1) rationally connected to the objective and not arbitrary, unfair or based on irrational considerations, (2) they impair the right as little as possible and (3) they are such that their effects on rights are proportional to the objective.” Justice Kearns P held that the sections of the Immigration Act passed the test of proportionality, and that the constitutional test must fail.