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An Arresting Experience

It is a criminal offence to resist a lawful arrest, but not an unlawful arrest. Some unlawful arrests are plainly that; more often than not they are seen to be unlawful with hindsight.



What has been happening in Ireland, after all in the case of the McCracken, Moriarty, Mahon, and Morris Tribunals, but the investigation of criminal conspiracies?


A protester is not just for Christmas

n 1984 President Ronald Reagan visited Ireland. There were public protests and demonstrations at his visit. He stayed for a time in the residence of the US ambassador in the Phoenix Park. A number of women took up position in a grassy area across the road from the entrance to the ambassador’s residence with the apparent intention of signaling their protest to President Reagan as he entered and left. He never saw them.


Website homework

It retains its date order in the website but can be seen HERE.


Criminal Legal Aid

The court found that as a matter of probability, a defendant will be afforded a fair trial in summary proceedings in the District Court while represented solely by a solicitor.


Gordon Brown & Jacqui Smith

The proposal is a recipe for injustice. They are saying that they want to imprison people for up to 42 days while they search for evidence upon which they could charge them with an offence.


Judge Roy Bean & friends

In a criminal trial the role of the villain is always allocated to the accused, it seems.


Pleading the Belly

However, I look forward to the case where I inform a court that my client will so plead.


Indictments are like cheques; sign them!

endorsed the decision in R v Morais (1988) 87 Cr App R 9. In that case the judge had given leave to prefer a voluntary bill against the accused, who was arraigned on six counts in the bill. The accused pleaded not guilty, was convicted on four counts and was sentenced. Relying on the Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1933, he appealed on the ground that the bill had never been signed by the proper officer: without a signature, he argued, there could be no indictment, and without an indictment there could be no valid trial.

In Morais the Court of Appeal agreed with the submission. The court endorsed a statement of Peter Pain J in an earlier case:

It seems to us that it is impossible for a criminal trial to start without there being a valid indictment to which the defendant can plead, and that the bill of indictment does not become an indictment until it is signed”.

In Ireland the relevant legislation is the Criminal Justice (Administration) Act 1924. It mandates the form of the indictment in the Act and in the First Schedule to the Act. The choice of indictment is limited to the charges expressed or implied in the documents known as the “Book of Evidenceâ€? served on the accused.


9th October 1890, a fateful day for solicitors

Morris was, probably, a counterfeit solicitor. Even so, as remarked by Dr. Watson’s companion, he had benefited Mr. Wilson, the red-headed pensioner by £30 and a deep knowledge of every subject coming under the letter “A” in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, before abruptly dissolving the League and ending Mr. Wilson’s income.