Michael McKevitt Justice Campaign

The Framing of Michael McKevitt

No Judge, No Hearing, No Justice, No Sense

October 8th, 2014

The Judicial Review of the Minister of Justice’s refusal to grant Michael McKevitt enhanced remission was scheduled to commence this morning in Court 4 of the High Court.
However, upon arrival at court McKevitt’s legal team was informed that his case was being removed from the immediate hearing list and being placed instead on the Administration List – with a new date yet to be scheduled.
Michael McKevitt’s legal team protested that today’s date had been scheduled by a High Court judge before the summer break; that the case concerned the potential unlawful detention of a prisoner and a citizen’s deprivation of liberty, and that the case should be given priority and should commence as previously scheduled.
The court registrar who was unmoved by these arguments, stated that she would remove the case from the hearing list as there were no High Court Judges available to hear the case, as seven High Court judges were transferred to the Court of Appeal and as a result the High Court is short-staffed.
Michael’s legal team made a complaint to the President of the High Court and sought an immediate commencement of the case. Judge Kearns stated that his hands were tied, as his panel of judges is seriously reduced due to the transfer of judges to the court of appeal and he proposed that Michael’s legal team come to court on a ‘day-by-day basis’ in the hope that a High Court judge may become available due to a case finishing prematurely.
Michael’s case is now in a state of limbo. He believes that he is being unlawfully detained. He has been granted leave for judicial review of the Minister’s refusal to grant him enhanced remission. However, he now finds himself removed from the hearing list and having to instruct his legal team to trek down to the High Court on a ‘day-by-day’ basis in the hope that a High Court judge might be available to hear his case.
This is not only unjust and unsatisfactory on legal grounds. But it also presents Michael with considerable logistical problems in insuring his best legal team is present to represent him, as they cannot indefinitely postpone their other legal engagements in the vain hope that a High Court judge may appear on the horizon.