Minister McEntee announces the establishment of the Single Person Committee of Inquiry

 

 

30 September 2020

 

The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, today announced that retired Judge John Hedigan has agreed to serve as the Member of the Single Person Committee of inquiry into the refusal of applications of Irish Citizenship via the Naturalisation process where National Security concerns arise.

 

The Committee is being established to review, upon request from the applicant, the material upon which the decision to refuse to grant a certificate of naturalisation  was made, in circumstances where the basis of refusal is in whole or in part predicated on National Security concerns.

 

Announcing the establishment of the Committee, Minister McEntee said:

 

I am pleased that retired Judge John Hedigan has agreed to serve as the Member of the Single Person Committee. The establishment of the Committee will provide greater openness and transparency in the process for applicants who are refused a certificate of naturalisation in the small number of cases where National Security concerns arise.

 

It also ensures that the confidentiality of matters of National Security continue to be appropriately maintained for the security of the State.

  

The granting of Irish citizenship is a privilege and an honour, which thousands of our newest citizens have benefitted from. It confers certain rights and entitlements not only within this State but also at European Union level. It is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process at all levels of the decision-making.

 

Following his review of the material, the Member will advise the Minister on its disclosure to the applicant having regard to natural justice considerations and National Security interests including maintaining intelligence capabilities. The Member may advise the Minister: not to disclose; partial disclosure; or full disclosure of the material.

 

 

ENDS

 

 

 

Notes to Editors

 

Mr. Justice John Hedigan was, until his retirement, a Judge of The Court of Appeal in Ireland. Prior to that, he was a Judge of The High Court from 2007 until 2016. From 1998 until 2007 he was a Judge of The European Court of Human Rights.

 

The establishment of the Single Person Committee is not an appeal process for Citizenship decisions. The establishment of the Committee  introduces a process whereby applicants, whose application for a certificate of naturalisation was refused, in whole or in part, on National Security Concerns, can apply to the Single Person Committee  for a decision on the disclosure of the information relied on in refusing their application.

A request for a review should be made in writing to:

 

The Member

Single Person Committee

Naturalisationenhancedprocess@justice.ie

 

 

 

Terms of reference -

 

Single Person Committee of inquiry into the applications of Irish Citizenship (Via Naturalisation) where National Security concerns arisen.

 

 

Mandate

 

 

 

 

 

Responsibilities

 

 

 

 

 

Reporting relationship

 

 

Term of appointment

 

 

 

 

 

Conflict of interest disclosure

 

 

 

 

 

Official Secrets Act

 

 

 

Confidentiality

 

 

 

 

Indemnification

 

 

 

Remuneration

 

 

 

Amendment to terms of reference

 

 

 

Administrative Support / Points of contact