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New Law to resolve Garda Search Warrants

in light of Supreme Court ruling February 2012

New Law to resolve Garda Search Warrants in light of Supreme Court ruling February 2012


Legislation designed to stem the problems created by a Supreme Court ruling made in February 2012 has been approved by the Government. Alan Shatter, the Minister for Equality, Justice and Defence is planning to publish the new Bill before the Summer break. In February Mr Ali Charaf Damache challenged the validity of a warrant issued to arrest him for an alleged conspiracy to murder. The Supreme Court upheld Mr Damache’s challenge because it agreed that the warrant had not been issued by an officer independent of the investigation. However the ruling has led to a flood of convictions collapsing in court due to appeals on the same grounds provided for under section 29 of the Offences Against the State Act, 1939. The new legislation seeks to further limit the circumstances in which a warrant could be issued if a judge was not available to do so.