Supreme Court Judgement
“Humpty Dumpty” by Tenniel Some things endure. Lewis Carroll could write in 1872: “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said. Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ” “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” […]
In Damache v DPP, Ireland & the Attorney General, IESC , (“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 therefore […]
The frequency with which patients are injured in Irish hospitals is very high. The current estimate is of 160,000 per year. Who knows the exact figure? Presumably, the Health Service Executive does. If it does, why is that information not made public? If it does not know, why does it not know? Let us assume that the HSE is a competent body and infused with goodwill towards the patients. Would it not be a good idea to try to eliminate […]
The Supreme Court decided the award of €90,000 by the High Court for the injury was too low. It increased the award to €120,000.
The decision has had bad effects. It endorses a damaging idea of Government; one where the freedom of the Executive to act without challenge and with impunity is put at a higher value than the principle that the interests of the electorate are paramount.
“Most of the suggestions put in cross-examination to the plaintiff as to what he should have done were farfetched and wholly unreal as I have already indicated.”
When the “Evening Herald�? published a report in December 2004 about a certain criminal case it would have been hard to foresee the actual consequence of the publication.
That this should emerge twice in the one month, in the Supreme Court is a measure of two things; the frequency with which the Gardai prematurely dispose of evidence and the sclerosis of the criminal prosecution system that it should so stubbornly cling to the determination to prosecute in cases where the accused claims to be disadvantaged in making his/her defence.
I have written elsewhere that legal proceedings are not a search for truth. Nevertheless, in legal proceedings, as in war, there are limits to restrain the parties.