Anita Groener vs. the Minister for Education and the City of Dublin

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The case study is presenting a lawsuit of Anita Groener, who is suing Minister for Education (hereinafter referred as ‘the Minister’) and the City of Dublin - Vocational Educational Committee (hereinafter referred as ‘the Education Committee’). The charge was based on the free movement of workers, more specific, knowledge of an official language of the host country. Mrs. Groener was a Netherlands’ national, who wanted to work as a full-time art teacher.

The origin of the dispute was the Minister’s refusal to appoint Mrs. Groener to a permanent full-time post as an art teacher employed by the Education Committee after she had failed a test, intended to asses her knowledge of the Irish language. Minister’s approval is required concerning the numbers, qualifications, remuneration and appointment of all employees of each vocational education committee. The competent committee may not appoint a person to a permanent full-time post in certain areas of teaching unless that person holds a certificate of proficiency in the Irish language (Ceard-Teastas Gaeilge) or has an equivalent qualification recognized by the minister. In that case, foreign teachers have to know the Irish language or else they can not teach in Ireland. Appointees who do not hold that certificate may be required to a special examination – an oral test.

In year 1982, Mrs. Groener was engaged on a temporary basis as a part-time art teacher in the College of Marketing and Design in Dublin. This College is under the authority of the Education Committee. Two years later she applied for a permanent full-time lecturer in art. She did not have the Ceard-Teastas Gaeilge and she asked for an exemption, but the request was refused. The reason for that was that there were other fully qualified candidates for the post and the Minister appointed that she had to pass the examination first. Mrs. Groener took a four-week beginners’ course and she did not pass the examination. Then...
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