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Country of Decision : Ireland
Court Name : IE: Supreme Court
Date of decision : 09/06/2020
Type : Judgment
Case Number/Citation/ Document Symbol : [2020] IESC 30

X (Cameroon) v Minister for Justice and Equality, Ireland


IE: Supreme Court held that for the purposes of family reunification, “child” includes non-biological children

According to EMN Ireland:

"The issue at the heart of this appeal was the extent or breadth of the definition of “child” for the purpose of refugee family reunification and whether that definition could include a minor who is not a biological or adopted child of the applicant. The High Court ([2019] IEHC 284) held that the term “child” in section 56(9) of the International Protection Act 2015 could include a non-biological child in light of the wide diversity of family structures."

"The Supreme Court held that the term “child” in section 56(9) of the International Protection Act 2015 can only be a reference to a biological or adopted child of the sponsor, as this was the literal and ordinary meaning of the term. This was reinforced by an examination of the historical background to the legislation, which made it clear that rather than introducing a broader meaning of the word “child” in the section, the overall effect of the section was restrictive in terms of those to whom family reunification could apply. This was a case in which a serious doubt arose as to the paternity of the two children in respect of whom the applicant sought family reunification. That serious doubt was created by the applicant himself in correspondence with the Minister. In those circumstances it was appropriate to seek DNA testing to establish the relationship between the applicant and the children concerned. In circumstances where he refused to undergo such testing, the Minister was entitled to draw an inference from that fact and to refuse the application."

Family Reunification; Minor; Vulnerable Group;

EU Charter of Fundamental Rights ; European Convention on Human Rights; Revised Qualification Directive (Directive 2011/95/EU on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as BIP for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection- recast)/or QD 2004/83/EC;


Ireland, Supreme Court, X (Cameroon) v Minister for Justice and Equality, Ireland, [2020] IESC 30, 09 June 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EASO Case Law Database.