Call McGarr Solicitors on: 01 6351580

New Laws for Old

Discarding things makes lawyers uncomfortable. There are good reasons to hold onto things, but eventually everything must go; forgetting is a part of memory.

But some things should not be forgotten. Consider the Statute Law Revision (Pre-1922) Act 2005.

Section 1 states “The statutes of Ireland, England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland mentioned in the Schedule to this Act are repealed.â€?

What have we thown out? What have we lost?

Well, how will we manage without the Servants Act of 1715? Are there to be no more servants? Or is that issue settled with the repeal of the the Distress for services of 1297?

What of some statutes of uncertain date such as the Prerogativa Regis c. 11 entitled Lands of Idiots and the similarly titled Lands of Lunatics? Have we not lost something of great value here? Surely it is of value to know the places of origin of idiocy and lunacy?

Perhaps it is politically dangerous to repeal the Denial of subjection of England to Kings of France of 1340? What if the Kings of France make a comeback? Think of the effort of trimming and spinning required in that event.

We won’t even know how to address him now that we have repealed the Title of the King of 1485. Perhaps we will need the House of Lords Precedence of 1539 after all or be saved by the Legitimacy of the Queen of 1553? Yes, if we had not repealed them.

Why have we apparently endorsed a fraud with the repeal of the Adulteration of Coffee Act of 1718? Is adulteration a thing of the past in fact? Not likely: adulteration, perhaps, is cool and in?

Digital Rights Ireland Ltd Statement of Claim

Following consultation with our clients Digital Rights Ireland Limited, we are now making available the Plaintiff’s Statement of Claim in the case of Digital Rights Ireland Limited v The Minister for Justice and Law Reform, The Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources and The Garda Commissioner in pdf format.

We have also added a link to the Statement of Claim to the previous list of pleadings in this case.

WIPO Treaty on the Protection of Broadcasting Organisations

The WIPO is an agency of the United Nations based in Geneva. Currently a treaty is being negotiated there on ‘The Protection of Broadcasting Organisations’. Aspects of this treaty have provoked some concern by interested bodies.

To clarify Ireland’s position at the negotiations for this treaty, we contacted the Intellectual Property Unit of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. We reproduce the relevant sections of our query and their response, with the names of Officials redacted.

From McGarr Solicitors:

“I would be grateful if you could confirm whether the government supporting the introduction of a Broadcaster’s copyright in the negotiations on the above treaty and whether they are represented at the negotiations by Irish Officials or by an organ of the European Union.

If the latter, would any agreed treaty signed be considered to have been signed by the EU, or merely as having been signed by the EU on behalf of its member states?”

From The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment:

“While my colleague who is our Copyright expert is not currently in the office, I can tell you that the Irish Government is represented at the Copyright Committee meeting which is currently taking place in Geneva. I’m not immediately au fait with the negotiating position which is being assumed but can make further enquiries in this regard should you wish me to do so.

At these meetings it is normal for member countries of WIPO to be represented in their individual capacities. The European Commission is normally represented as an inter-Governmental organisation. In the case of all WIPO Treaties it is usual that member countries sign in an individual capacity. In the case of a minority of WIPO treaties e.g. the Madrid Protocol on the registration of trade marks, the European Community has also become a party to the Protocol. The Community could not in any way usurp an individual countries’ right to sign a treaty which is the point I think you are getting at.”

Link to the Current Draft of the Treaty.

Link to other negotiation documents.

Digital Rights Ireland Data Retention Case

McGarr Solicitors represent Digital Rights Ireland Limited in their action against the Minister for Justice and Law Reform, the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources and the Garda Commissioner’s data retention policies and actions.

Following consultation with our client, we are now making available the pleadings to date in this action in Adobe pdf format.

Digital Rights Ireland Limited Plenary Summons

Appearance entered by the Defendants

Statement of Claim of the Plaintiff

Welcome to the McGarr Solicitors Website

Welcome to the McGarr Solicitors website.

We are trying out something which we think is new for Ireland- a full solicitor’s website run through the WordPress software.

The permanent sections down the right hand side of the page under Our Practice will expand as we upload them.

This front page will contain copies of each of those permanent pages, but will also publish shorter pieces. Some of these may be responses to events of the day, or observations on some aspect of legal practice. We’ll learn what works as the site evolves.

Submission to The Balance in the Criminal Law Review Group

The Balance in the Criminal Law Review Group

Submission of Edward McGarr
McGarr Solicitors
12 City Gate
Lower Bridge St.
Dublin 8
Phone: 6351580

That the “Balance in the Criminal Law Review Group” was established following a speech by the Tanaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform undermines its credentials. We already have the Law Reform Commission whose publications do not generally exhibit the realpolitik which is the survival imperative of Government Ministers. Why, then, the need for the Group? The title of the Group implies there is an imbalance between the rights of suspects and the rights of society. It is difficult to know how such an imbalance came about, if it did. If there is such an imbalance the Law Reform Commission is the obvious body to look into it. Ruminations from the Tanaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform or any one else, about “change in society” are no substitute for real analysis.
The members of the Group are excellent people but not, to the writer’s knowledge, practitioners in the field of criminal law, either for the prosecution or the defence. The Group would be the stronger for some representative/s from such a background. It is possible that the dynamics of a criminal prosecution could be examined with such assistance. Zealots should not (and mostly are not) assigned the work of prosecution; for the unexpressed reason that a prosecution is to some degree a creative act, whether in its construction or its presentation or both. (more…)

What the…!

It isn’t easy to generate readable prose on any subject, even one’s “own” subject. The principal difficulty is the depreciation of intellectual capital. We tend to learn what we know early in life and by the time we look authoritative we know less than we ever knew.

Maurice Neligan is a case in point. In the Irish Times he has opined about the trauma of medical negligence claims on doctors.

He shouldn’t bother, unless he has monitored the latest available information (in the self-same Irish Times!)

That shows there are more than 4,000 adverse incidents in Irish Hospitals each month. That’s more than 48,000 per year.

The trauma to concern us should be the trauma of the victim patients, not the trauma of the doctors.