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July 18, 2024

Minor Child’s Constitutional Challenge to Restriction on Tenancy Rights After Parent’s Death is Dismissed

Z.G. v Ireland [2024] IEHC 412 (High Court, Bolger J, 8 July 2024)

High Court dismissed an application challenging the constitutionality of a residential tenancies statute, which does not allow a child under the age of 18 to take over a tenancy following a tenant parent's death, on the grounds that: (a) the law's distinction between minors and adults, and its indirect impact on a minor child of a single-parent family, was not arbitrary, capricious, or irrational; (b) the State's duty to care for minor children justifies different legal treatment from adults; and (c) the applicant, a minor, is not entitled to the same tenancy rights as an adult would be in similar circumstances.

Residential Tenancies Act 2004 – constitutionality – minor child – tenancy rights – s 39 – family status – age discrimination – indirect discrimination – equality under law – legal guardian – Part 4 tenancy – Article 40.1 of the Constitution – European Convention on Human Rights – presumption of constitutionality – social welfare – Childcare Act 1991 – family law – legal status of minors – protection of minors – burden of proof – High Court

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.

Quotation from judgment (courtesy of the Courts Service of Ireland):

‘27. The applicant, in effect, seeks special treatment, which is a recognised aspect of equality law, for example, the extensive rights afforded in law to a pregnant employee on grounds of their pregnancy as of right rather than by way of comparing their treatment to that of a non-pregnant employee. The applicant’s claim to special treatment, i.e. that the applicant’s legal guardian will somehow step into the Part 4 tenancy, whether temporarily or permanently, is misplaced in circumstances where the State already have arrangements in place to ensure special treatment and protection of the minor child of a deceased lone parent (i.e. different and additional to that afforded to a minor child of a living lone parent), including the payment of an allowance to their legal guardian and/or payment of an orphan’s pension and, where necessary, the provision of accommodation to a child pursuant to s. 5 of the Childcare Act.’

July 18, 2024

Trust Drafting and Precedents (July 2024)

The July update to Trust Drafting and Precedents is now live for subscribers.

July 18, 2024

Issue 87 of Court of Session Practice Now Available

Issue 87 of Court of Session Practice is now available for subscribers. 

In this issue: 

Division G – Family Proceedings has been amended.

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