SECTION 83, EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY ACT, 1998
SOUTHERN HEALTH BOARD
- AND -
DR. IBRAHIM SHUAIB
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Mr. Somers
1. Appeal against a decision of the Office of the Director of Equality Investigations Decision Number EE/2001/223.
2. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 4th of December, 2002, in accordance with Section 83 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998. The following is the Court's determination:-
Dr Ibrahim Shuaib (the complainant) applied to the Director of Equality Investigations, pursuant to section 77(6) of the Employment Equality Act, 1998 (the Act), for an extension of time in which to bring a complaint of discrimination on the ground of race against the Southern Health Board (the respondent).
By a decision dated 9th August, 2002, the Director refused the complainant's application. The comlpainant then appealed to the Court against that refusal.
The Court heard the parties to the appeal on 4th December, 2002. Having heard the parties, the Court invited further submissions on the question of its jurisdiction to hear and determine an appeal from a decision of the Director made under section 77(6) of the Act. The hearing was adjourned to enable the parties to make further submissions on this point. A submission was received from the complainant on 5th December, 2002, and from the respondent on 2nd January, 2003.
The jurisdiction of the Court to hear and determine appeals from a decision of the Director is derived from section 83 of the Act. This section provides, at subsection (1), as follows:
"83 - (1) Not later than 42 days from the date of a decision of the Director under section 79, the complainant or the respondent may appeal to the Labour Court by notice in writing specifying the grounds of the appeal"
It will be noted that the Court may only hear and determine an appeal from a decision of the Director made pursuant to section 79 of the Act. In the instant case, the decision of the Director was made pursuant to section 77(6) of the Act, and there is no statutory provision for an appeal from such a decision.
Whilst there may well be a lacuna in the law in not providing any appeal from a refusal to grant an extension of time, the Court cannot assume a jurisdiction which it has not been given by the Oireachtas. Accordingly, the Court must decline to consider the appeal herein.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
14th January, 2003______________________
Enquiries concerning this Determination should be addressed to Gerardine Buckley, Court Secretary.