Ireland: A Move to Categorical Exclusion?
Irish courts, like those of England and Wales and the United States, originally did not ask how evidence was gathered, only whether it was relevant and material to the issues in criminal cases. However, in 1964, the Irish Supreme Court in the O’Brien case firmly held, in following the U.S. cases of Weeks and Mapp, that evidence gathered as a result of a deliberate and conscious violation of constitutional rights should not be admissible in criminal trials. In 1990 the Irish Supreme Court in the case of Kenny strengthened this rule and rejected the U.S. exception for “good faith” which had been formulated in a 1984 case. These were cases dealing with the right to privacy. The chapter traces this case law up to the present and also discusses the admissibility of evidence gathered during unlawful interrogations. In this area, Irish law, like the modern law of England and Wales, will exclude cases rendered involuntary by police use of force, threats, deception, etc., but, unlike in the U.S. with its Miranda case law, allows comment on and use of the silence of a suspect who does not speak with the police after being arrested. An exception to this, however, is when the suspect was not given access to a lawyer before being interrogated.
KeywordsLegal Advice Fair Trial Constitutional Status Trial Judge Reasonable Suspicion
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