Damache v Minister for Justice concerned a constitutional challenge to section 19 of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956. This section outlined the statutory process the executive branch, acting through the Minister for Justice, had to follow before revoking a certificate of naturalisation. The appellant successfully argued this process was an unconstitutional breach of fair procedures. The judgement will be of interest both to Irish and other public lawyers for its treatment of fair procedures, which the Supreme Court approached in a regrettably blinkered way – seeing only one constitutional principle when several others were at stake. The judgment is a stark reminder for both Irish and comparative lawyers of the fact that the concrete demands of fair procedures must be balanced with a range of competing institutional goods and principles equally important to constitutional democracies: from administrative efficiency to structural principles stemming from the separation of powers.
Conor Casey, Citizenship Stripping, Fair Procedures, and the Separation of Powers: A Critical Comment on Damache v Minister for Justice, Modern Law Review, 2021.