Case Summary: Goold -v- Collins [2004] IEHC 38


Republic of Ireland

Where the parties had reached an agreement on the protection order in issue, the Supreme Court held that the matter was moot and reviewed case law on mootness.

Click here to read the judgment.


The Supreme Court heard an appeal against a High Court Order which had stayed the Applicant's judicial review proceedings except in relation to two reliefs sought: a declaration that parts of domestic violence legislation were unconstitutional and an order from the Court quashing a protection order. The Applicant and her husband had reached an agreement to discharge the protection order and accordingly the State authorities appealed the order on the basis that the two remaining reliefs were moot.


As the "live" issues had been settled by consent, the Supreme Court deemed the proceedings moot.


Hardiman J completed a thorough analysis on the relationship of the doctrine of mootness and judicial review, citing comparative case law. Hardiman J found the theoretical basis for the rule on mootness to be well expressed in the Canadian case of Borowski -v- Canada. Hardiman J also noted that the US case of Honig -v- Doe held that a case is not moot if the issues raised are "capable of repetition, yet evade review", meaning that there is a "reasonable expectation" that the complaining party would be subject to the same action.

As the protection order had been discharged by consent of the husband and wife and there was no "reasonable expectation" that the wife would be the subject of a protection order again, the matter did not require adjudication.

Points of note

The Irish Supreme Court applied the relevant tests as set out in US and Canadian case law. This judgment has subsequently been cited in cases including O'Brien -v-The Personal Injuries Assessment Board, V [a minor] -v- Courts Service & Ors, Irwin -v- T Deasy & C Deasy.

Sustaining Partners