Dawson v District Justice Hamill (No. 2)

Judgment Date27 April 1990
Docket Number[S.C. No. 317 of 1989]
Date27 April 1990
CourtSupreme Court
Dawson v. Hamill (No.2)
Patrick Dawson
District Justice William Hamill, Defendant (No. 2)
[S.C. No. 317 of 1989]

Supreme Court

Judicial review - Certiorari - Discretion - Decision of inferior court quashed by High Court - Power of court to remit case for reconsideration - Criteria to be considered in deciding whether case should be remitted - Rules of the Superior Courts, 1986 (S.I. No. 15), O. 84, r. 26 (4).

Order 84, r. 26 (4) of the Rules of the Superior Courts, 1986, provides that where the relief sought in an application for judicial review is an order of certiorari the High Court may, in addition to quashing the decision to which the application relates, remit the matter to the court, tribunal or authority concerned, "with a direction to reconsider it and reach a decision in accordance with the findings of the Court".

Section 104 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, as amended by s. 6 of the Road Traffic Act, 1968, provides that a person should not be convicted of certain offences under the Act unless he was warned or notified at the time that the offence was alleged to have been committed, or within certain specified time limits thereafter, that it was intended to prosecute him in respect of that offence; however, failure to comply with this requirement is not a bar to a conviction if the court is satisfied that the accused was at all material times aware of the occurrence in respect of which the prosecution was brought.

The plaintiff was involved in a road traffic accident as a result of which he was tried and acquitted in the Circuit Court on charges of manslaughter and dangerous driving. A summons charging him with an offence under s. 53 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, as amended, had also been served on the plaintiff in respect of an incident alleged to have taken place one and a half miles from the scene of the accident to which the charges related. No written or verbal notice of intention to prosecute the plaintiff in relation to that incident had been given to him prior to the service of the summons. The hearing of the charge was postponed by agreement, pending the plaintiffs trial on indictment, and then came before the defendant one and a half years after the date of the incident.

At the hearing the plaintiff gave evidence that he had no recollection of any incident such as that alleged against him and that no allegation in relation to it had been made to him until the service of the summons seven months after the date in question. The defendant announced that he would reserve his decision...

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