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Tagged: Criminal Law

“Dr. Livingstone, I infer?


Henry Stanley got things wrong when he met Dr. Livingstone. On meeting him, he records, he said; “Dr. Livingstone, I presume? The Oxford Dictionary indicates that “presume”, as used by Stanley, conveys he is supposing that something is the case on the basis of probability. On his own account, he was being absurdly careful. As Stanley well knew, white men in that location at that time were unknown. So, of course, the man he was meeting was probably Livingstone. However, […]


The National Risk Assessment for 2014

Suburbs in Texas

The Taoiseach has published the Draft National Risk Assessment for 2014. The good news is that, by implication, there will be another in 2015 and that it is open for public comments until the 30th June. The bad news is that, in briefly harking back to the past, it fails to correctly describe what really happened. Then there’s the tone; the authors never question the possibility that they are not competent to write the Assessment. Presumably, they followed the nostrum […]


Carry on…

Warrant Card

In Damache v DPP, Ireland & the Attorney General, IESC [2101], (“Damache”) the Supreme court decided that Section 29(1) of the Offences against the State Act, 1939 (as inserted by s. 5 of the Criminal Law Act, 1976) was unconstitutional. The Section permitted a person, not independent of an investigation, to issue a search warrant for the purposes of the investigation. The court found that a police officer engaged in an investigation is not an independent person for these purposes and […]


Feeling Lousy

No, this post is not about hangovers. It’s about evidence. Ideas as to what is evidence have varied, somewhat, over time. (SPOILER ALERT) For instance, “Murder comes to Pemberley” by P. D. James,  features a trial scene. Mr. Wickham, a character from Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice” is on trial for murder. The implied date of the trial is approximately 1804. The UK lacked a police force at that time. The local magistrate has performed the police function and he […]


Looking East

Trenitalia is Italy’s national train system. Being national, it is open to political interference in the form of over-manning. Other things being equal, this is good for passengers and employees. Ireland can have nothing to say about this situation. Irish citizens, likewise, must confine their reflections on Italian train travel to their memoirs. The USA also has a bloated and inflated industry; its prison system. There are 758 prisoners per 100,000 of population there. This is not the stuff for […]


Foot in Mouth

Much of everyday speech is inaccurate, so inaccuracy is not a big deal in everyday life. However, Government ministers do not inhabit our banal everyday world. In the case of the Minister for Agriculture and Food this means at least two things; he should not say “appraise” when he means “apprise,”  and he should not undermine criminal investigations by diminishing the facts being investigated which he does when he says he is investigating “mislabeling”. To say that selling horsemeat as […]


The Food Police?

The finding by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland of horse meat in frozen beef burgers invokes the following legal provisions: A)            Articles 14 (1) and 16 of Regulation (EC) N° 178/2002 on General Food Law; B)            Regulations 5 (1) and 6 of the European Communities (General Food Law) Regulations 2007. Under Article 14 (1) of Regulation No. 178/2002, “Food shall not be placed on the market if it is unsafe”. “Unsafe” includes food unfit for human consumption. The Regulation […]


Sack the Minister

When the Food Safety Authority of Ireland tested a range of Irish frozen beef burgers, purchased from Irish and British supermarkets, it found evidence that they contained horse meat and/or pig meat. It found that the source of the offending meat was the respective manufacturer of the beef burger. In the case of Silvercrest Foods Ltd. almost 30% of one burger constituted horse meat. These facts were sufficient evidence to prosecute the various manufacturers (and the retailers). Prosecutions are necessary […]



What is the economic cost of a proper defence? Inevitably, it will vary from case to case, but Clive Stafford Smith estimates that 1,000 hours will be needed for the task. That’s 83 days. Now assume an hourly rate for the lawyer at €300 (because that is less than the rate allowed by the Irish High Court for some company liquidators) and we can work out the cost of the defence, – €300,000.


Imprisonment for Life

McGarr Solicitors represent a client, in his challenge to a variety of indeterminate sentence, before the High Court, and will report the outcome of the case in due course.