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by Yvonne Marie DALY (English)

Overruling the protectionist exclusionary rule

In April 2015 the Irish Supreme Court held, in DPP v JC, that the rather strict exclusionary rule relating to unconstitutionally obtained evidence which had operated in that jurisdiction for the past twenty-five years should no longer be applied. A majority of the Court held that the seminal case in which the rule was set out was erroneously decided and, accordingly, overruled that precedent and reformulated the relevant rule. While the previous rule had operated on a rationale of protectionism, the newly-stated rule is based on principles of deterrence such that evidence will not be excluded where the relevant breach of constitutional rights is inadvertent. This is a major change of approach for the Irish criminal justice system and this case note explores the background to the change, the judgments of the Supreme Court, and the potential impact of what Hardiman J (dissenting) referred to as this “revolution in principle”.

Journal/Publisher: International Journal of Evidence & Proof, Volume 19, Issue 4

Publication type: Article

Number of pages/Page range: 270-280

Language/s (content): English

Date of publication: 01-10-15

Personal data

Full name Yvonne Marie DALY

Current occupation Member

University/Institution Dublin City University

Address Glasnevin

Postal code Dublin 9

Telephone 00353 1700 5000