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Criminal Law

The Right to Silence etc.

The Minister for Justice Equality and Law Reform (the Tanaiste) has introduced his Criminal Justice Bill 2007 in the Dail. The Opposition HERE and HERE and HERE and civil society groups HEREand HERE have criticised the Minister for, inter alia, rushing the legislation through parliament. We should not forget the general election in the offing, in this context. It must be a matter of chagrin for, presumably, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and this writer, to find they have […]

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The Right to Silence (again)

Re-visiting the Koko the gorilla issue again (actually it is a Judge/Jury issue), see HERE

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The Right to Silence

I received my copy of the Balance in the Criminal Law Review Group’s Interim Report but did not have an opportunity to read it before now. As I understand it, I received a copy because I made a submission, which is a civilized response, although tempered by the absence of an invitation to make more submissions. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading the Interim Report. It certainly carries an air of authority and no clearly visible axe to grind, as we might […]

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Cross Examination

There is an exception to every rule. I have a general rule, that everybody else’s criminal law cases are boring, whereas mine are not. Here is the exception.

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The Price of Coffee

The price of coffee has received some attention from economists but at the producers’ end it is not a question of economics; it is a political issue. (Perhaps all economics is political). At the consumers’ end it is too insignificant to be a political issue and is of interest to economists because it resembles a case study from a textbook (one of theirs). There are more interesting issues. Consider bribery. Here in Ireland it is a crime. ((on paper, but […]

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An IQ of 170

Guilt and fascination were the immediate responses to “Child Genius”. ((Channel Four, 8th February 2007)). As one nine-year old boy, Dante, said, he did not want the TV crew to know too much about him. That was a case where the assertion of a right of privacy was fully warranted. ((Unlike here)) The children, after all, are not capable of giving full (any, actually) consent to the programme. His clear thinking was impressive, sometimes in the face of difficulties, including […]

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The Richmond Hospital

The Richmond Hospital in North Brunswick St. has a new phase of life as a District Court building. It’s a fine two story building of red brick and terracotta with two wings on either side of a fine staircase to the entrance. Court 52 is clearly occupying what was once a hospital ward; broad and well lit, with gracious ceiling height in proportion to the size of the space. The structure inspires confidence in its developers, the medical men (and […]

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Sub Judice

The Irish Times reports on 20th January 2007 that the High Court is hearing an appeal from the Circuit Court where the Plaintiff was successful against a provincial newspaper for breach of privacy. Apparently the Plaintiff was photographed while playing gaelic football and his genitals were visible in the photograph, which the newspaper published. The Plaintiff had also pleaded defamation but abandoned that claim in the Circuit court. The appeal is current and final submissions from the newspaper are expected […]

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A POLICEMAN’S LOT

It is going to get tougher to be a senior police officer. According to the Irish Times of 13th January 2007, the Minister for Justice Equality and Law Reform, and the Garda Commissioner, are pondering the feasibility of making “police chiefsâ€? (the Commissioner?) accountable for crime statistics “in their … area”. Any ambiguity in the report, and all the questions possibly begged by the idea aside, there is help at hand for the officers concerned. Firstly, do not put your […]

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The Balance in the Criminal Law Review Group

That the “Balance in the Criminal Law Review Groupâ€? 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 […]

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