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The Rights of the Child, Immigration and Article 8 in the Irish Courts
2009-02, Thornton, Liam, Mullally, Siobhan
In recent times, the Irish courts have found themselves faced with a variety of cases on Article 8 protections for migrant families. The cases mainly concern the right of non-Irish national parents to remain in Ireland with their citizen child. A common thread within many of the cases on Article 8 issues is the focus the courts have given, not on the best interests of the child, but the good behaviour or otherwise of the parent and the state's interest in immigration control. The Irish Courts have formulated disputes within migration law and families as surrounding the states near unqualified right to control the entry and exit of aliens versus the qualified and heavily circumscribed rights of non-Irish nationals to enjoy family life within the State with their citizen child. Where Article 8 has been utilised by the Irish courts, there has been a very expansive reading given to the needs of the State to ensure integrity of its immigration system. With the ever more increasing case load in relation to asylum and migration, the courts have noted the anxiousness of states in relation to immigration matters. In this respect, courts have been prepared to restrict the interpretation of certain rights as a means of appeasing state fears in relation to the immigration control and human rights protections.