mandag 7. mars 2011

Marriage 'of convenience' not illegal and man's arrest ruled unlawful


Juztinia Izmailovic is a Lithuanian who met the second applicant over the internet in early 2009.

She came to Ireland in May 2010, registering with the Revenue Commissioners. Mahmoud Ads is an Egyptian who unsuccessfully applied for asylum in 2008 and was the subject of a deportation order. He was then illegally in the State.

The two parties claimed to have lived together at an address in Dublin from May 2010 and to have undergone a religious marriage ceremony in July. In October they gave notice to the civil registration office in Cavan of an intended marriage on January 12th, 2011, and they travelled with some friends to Cavan on that date for the ceremony.

Two officers from the Garda National Immigration Bureau arrived and gave a letter to the registrar from a chief superintendent objecting to the marriage on the grounds that it was a marriage of convenience and that the matter was being investigated by the bureau. Mr Ads was arrested and brought to Cloverhill Prison.


Had the marriage taken place, Mr Ads would in principle have been entitled to reside in Ireland. However, the 2006 regulations allow for this right to be withdrawn if it was acquired fraudulently (for example, by a marriage of convenience). However the language of the regulations makes it clear that this envisaged an administrative review of whether the marriage was one of convenience after the event, conducted with appropriate procedural safeguards.

Mr Justice Hogan therefore concluded that the principal reason for the arrest of Mr Ads was to prevent the marriage, which would have been valid under Irish law even if it were a marriage of convenience; the question of whether it was a marriage of convenience could only have been established after the event in accordance with the 2006 regulations; there was no impediment to the marriage and the chief superintendent’s objection was not valid; the arrest of Mr Ads was unlawful and he should be released.

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