A Dublin-born solicitor is taking the fight against his extradition to Ireland to the High Court, citing a landmark Australian case on the rights of the child.
Ireland requested the extradition of former solicitor Vincent O’Donoghue in May 2004, after a district court judge issued a warrant for his arrest in relation to eight alleged offences of obtaining property by false pretences and a further eight alleged offences of fraudulent conversion.
In March 2011, Australia’s then Federal Minister for Justice, Brendan O’Connor determined that he be surrendered to Irish authorities.
Last month, O’Donoghue sought to have the surrender warrant quashed on appeal.
However, Chief Justice Patrick Keane dismissed the appeal and said that Mr O’Donoghue seemed “unwilling or unable to accept that his challenge to the validity of the extradition process on the basis that it is ‘all a fraud’ is overwhelmingly implausible”.
His solicitor has now lodged documents with the High Court in Perth to seek special leave to appeal the ruling, citing in his grounds a landmark Australian case centred on the rights of the child.
The Teoh case, which led the Australian government to introduce the Teoh Bill, concerned the question of whether children born in Australia to a Malaysian national facing deportation had the right to a father under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
A majority of the High Court had found, in that case, that “if a decision maker proposes to make a decision inconsistent with a legitimate expectation [based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child], procedural fairness requires that the persons affected should be given notice and an adequate opportunity of presenting a case against the taking of such a course”.
The documents show O’Donoghue’s case hangs upon arguing that the federal court failed to hold that the former minister for justice was required to take Teoh into account, when deciding whether to surrender him to Irish authorities.
O’Donoghue has sought an order from the High Court to quash the surrender warrant issued by the former minister for justice in March 2011 and an injunction preventing Australian authorities arranging for his extradition to Ireland, until such a time as the Family Court of Australia has made final orders with respect to his four children.
He has also sought for the respondents – which include former minister for justice Brendan O’Connor and former Australian attorney general Philip Ruddock – to pay the costs of the latest legal bid.
Mr O’Donoghue remains in custody in Hakea prison, 19km south of Perth.