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Practice & Procedure

Coroner’s Act 1962

by William Murphy

We have written previously about the Coroner’s Court system. If you find a dead body, you are legally obliged to report it. Once certain officials or persons in certain positions become aware of a report of remains lying in the district, they are under a duty to notify the local Coroner. Section 18(1) of the Coroner’s Act 1962 says 18.—(1) Where a coroner is informed that the body of a deceased person is lying within his district and that a medical certificate […]


How to read the “news” on medical negligence

According to the Irish Independent, a High Court judge (Judge Irvine) has urged “an overhaul of negligence cases”. The newspaper goes on to report what the judge actually said; that she believes “new protocols and rules of disclosure would lead to early resolution and early admission of liability when justified” [in “medical negligence” cases]. There are two ideas in the judge’s beliefs, both good; that early resolution and early admission of liability are desirable goals, and that new protocols and […]


Words, words, words

The new Chinese year, just commenced, is the Year of The Horse. We lost a lot when the horse ceased to be a major source of power and transport. Prior to that, practically everybody personally knew the meaning of phrases like; “closing the stable door after the horse has bolted” or “live, horse, and you will have grass”. We even knew what a cock-horse was. This knowledge shielded us from official obfuscation. No bulletin, however mendacious in its departure from […]


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 […]


Class Actions

cc Unarmed Civilian

Britain and Ireland share many things, not least the weather. We share an approach to legal proceedings so, possibly, Ireland will follow the UK into a new form of legal proceedings, known as “collective action mechanisms”, “representative court actions“ or “class actions”. The UK experimented with consumer “opt-in” representative court action. That failed; it was used once. Now, the UK is proposing to introduce “opt-out” representative court actions for consumers. If it works for consumers its attractions may spread it […]


Litigation Costs

The Irish system underpinning the recovery of costs in Irish litigation is derived from British practice and systems but lags behind developments there. The basic principle is that the client is responsible for paying his or her costs and may only recover those costs in the event of winning. The corollary of the second leg of the prior sentence is that the client is responsible for ALL costs in the event of losing. That means that the client is liable […]


Don’t be so negative

In everyday life we must, and try to, say what we mean. This is doubly the case in giving evidence. Look at this: QUESTION;   You didn’t call out for help? REPLY:           No. By this reply, the witness has now sworn that he/she DID call out for help. We see this if we express the intended reply at length – “Yes, I did not call out for help” (or, “I did not call out for help”). Counsel must be careful of […]


EMI Records [Ireland] Ltd and Ors -v- UPC Communications Ltd and Ors : Digital Rights Ireland Ltd granted leave to move Motion to Intervene as Amicus Curiae

This matter was returnable today for directions by Mr. Justice Kelly in the Commercial Court. The High Court Record Number of this matter is 2012/12381. Mr. Ronan Lupton BL, appearing on behalf of Digital Rights Ireland Ltd and instructed by McGarr Solicitors applied to the court for leave to serve a Notice of Motion, together with grounding affidavit, seeking to intervene in these proceedings as a friend of the court, or Amicus Curiae. The court set a date for the […]


High Court Personal Injury trials

If a Defendant knows that the system will deliver a judgment for the Plaintiff and knows what the compensation for the Plaintiff is likely to be only two issues remain to be vouchsafed; that the costs will increase with the passing of time and that those costs will have to be met by the Defendant.


Corrib Gas update

The State parties appealed the judgment of Laffoy J. to the Supreme Court. The appeal came on for hearing before the Supreme Court on 24th October 2012 and finished that day. Judgment has been reserved.