Supreme Court judge criticises ruling on evidence in trials:
Firstly, I had better declare a bias, I am a fan of Judge Hardiman I don’t know the man and never instructed him in practice but as a lowly solicitor who has prosecuted and defended I am at a loss that in the age of economic depression,NAMA, homelessness and mass emigration,high unemployement, crisis healthcare water charges, mass loss of privacy and no effective system of civil legal aid to name a few issues.our exlcusionary rule has been recast or to quote Judge Hardiman “A Rubion has been crossed and the nature of a trial in due course of law has been altered for the immediate future and perhaps forever”.
In the history of the Republic, I am not aware of any dissenting Judgement as strident in its critique of a majority ruling. Judge Hardian must have agonised on his words. He pulls no punches.The Supreme Court have a difficult job to do but they are the last real oversight on the State for the citizen, (and the State) and while it is commendable that victims of crime and the communitys right to try offenders should have an increased prominence in the criminal justice system, the result of the ruling will be that possibly every State encroachment on the constitutional rights of the you, the individual accused of a crime, or even in the payment of your taxes, will be met with well ……. we didn’t mean to break the law against you in prosecuting and convicting you so that makes it OK .
The recent decisions in Baily and Smyth (on Police Immunity from Civil Suit) just show difficult is to win a case against the State.
With respect to the majoity judgements of the Court which I havent had the benefit of studying in any great detail yet it’s a black day for oversight. I hope I am wrong.
As citizens we have to have respect for the rule of law but if the State can be excused in breaking the laws against us then how does that foster and nourish the rule of law and respect for the State.
This issue needs to be the subject of a much wider debate and referendum in time. If it takes a judgement like this, to spark that debate then Judge Hardiaman is to be commended.
Rant over and out.