Refusal of access to scheme to disabled applicants was not unjust

By: James Cross BL

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High Court refuses judicial review of the decision of the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal refusing two applicants with severe and permanent disabilities access to a scheme giving rebates or remissions of taxes by way of financial support, on the grounds that there was no evidence that the criteria are manifestly arbitrary, unjust, partial or ultra vires, and the process was fair, open and transparent.

Judicial review – two applicants with severe and permanent disabilities challenging the decision of the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal that they did not meet the strict medical criteria laid down in the current regulation for access to a scheme giving them rebates or remissions of taxes by way of financial support – jurisprudence relevant to whether or not a statutory instrument is ultra vires the primary legislation is accepted – separation of powers -delegates of statutory power cannot be allowed to exceed the limits of the statute and any excessive exercise of the delegation discretion will defeat the legislative intent – when determining whether or not the exercise of the power is permitted as a legitimate exercise the answer is to be found within the terms of the statute itself – statutory interpretation - once the plain meaning of the words are clear unambiguous and not absurd, the statute should be construed accordingly - adequacy of reasons - person must be severely and permanently disabled and come within at least one of the criteria mentioned – evidence before the court – argued that the Oireachtas by virtue of s. 92 of the Finance Act 1989, determined that persons who have a severe and permanent disability and/or their families, would be entitled to certain rebates or remissions of taxes by way of financial support - the plain and ordinary meaning of s.92 is to the effect that this further medical criteria is further to (or in addition to) the applicant being severely and permanently disabled – no basis to suggest that the statutory instrument has diluted or usurped the provisions of s. 92 of the 1989 Act - no evidence that the criteria are manifestly arbitrary, unjust or partial - process was fair, open and transparent and involved explanation and inquiry – 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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