Eccles v Ireland

JurisdictionIreland
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeFINLAY C.J.
Judgment Date01 January 1986
Neutral Citation1985 WJSC-SC 2114
Date01 January 1986

1985 WJSC-SC 2114

THE SUPREME COURT

FINLAY C.J.

HENCHY J.

GRIFFIN J.

HEDERMAN J.

McCarthy J.

ECCLES v. IRELAND & AG

BETWEEN

THOMAS ECCLES, PATRICK DUFFY, PATRICK McPHILLlPS, BRIANMcSHANE, SEAMUS LYNCH, JOSEPH GARGAN and NOEL McCABE
Plaintiffs

and

IRELAND AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE LIAM HAMILTON, HIS HONOUR JUDGE TIMOTHY DESMOND and CATHAL OFLOINN
Defendants

Citations:

CONSTITUTION ART 35

CONSTITUTION ART 35.2

CONSTITUTION ART 35.5

CONSTITUTION ART 38.1

CONSTITUTION ART 38.3

CONSTITUTION ART 38.6

EAST DONEGAL CO-OP V AG 1970 IR 317

OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S39

OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S39(2)

OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S39(4)

Synopsis:

CONSTITUTION

Statute

Validity - Trial of offences - Special Criminal Court - Judicial independence - Trial in due course of law - Trial in Special Criminal Court not inconsistent with Constitution - Section 39 of Offences Against the State Act, 1939 - Decision of Barrington J. (12/7/85) affirmed - (204/85 - Supreme Court - 1/11/85).

|Eccles v. Ireland|

CRIMINAL LAW

Special Criminal Court

Establishment - Validity - Judicial independence - Trial in due course of law - Section 39 of Act of 1939 not inconsistent with Constitution - Offences Against the State Act, 1939 - Decision of Barrington J. - (12/7/85) affirmed - (204/85 - Supreme Court - 1/11/85).

|Eccles v. Ireland|

SPECIAL CRIMINAL COURT

Establishment

Validity - Judicial independence - Trial in due course of law - Section 39 of Act of 2939 not inconsistent with Constitution - Offences Against the State Act, 1939 - Decision of Barrington J. (12/7/85) affirmed - (204/85 - Supreme Court - 1/11/85).

|Eccles v. Ireland|

WORDS AND PHRASES

"Due course of law"

Criminal law - Trial - Special Criminal Court - Constitutional jurisdiction - Decision of Barrington J. (12/7/85) affirmed - (204/85 - Supreme Court - 1/11/85).

|Eccles v. Ireland|

1

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT delivered the 1st day of November1985by FINLAY C.J.

2

This is an appeal by the Plaintiffs against the Order of the High Court made by Barrington J. on the 12th July 1985 dismissing their claim against the Defendants. Each of the Plaintiffs was convicted of capital murder by the Special Criminal Court after a trial commencing in February 1985. The third, fourth and fifth named Defendants were the members of the Court presiding at that trial.

3

In these proceedings the Plaintiffs sought adeclaration that section 39 of the Offences Against the State Act 1939(the 1939 Act) is inconsistent with the Constitution, together with consequential declarations that the convictions and the sentences imposed on them are invalid and of no effect.

4

The Plaintiffs" case rests on the provisions of subsections (2) and (4) of section 39 of the 1939 Act which provide as follows:

5

2 "(2) Each member of a Special Criminal Court shall be appointed and be removable at will by the Government.

6

(4) The Minister for Finance may pay to every member of a Special Criminal Court such (if any) remuneration and allowances as the said Minister may think proper and different rates of remuneration and allowances may be so paid to different members of any such Court or to the members of different such Courts."

7

It is submitted that the separate or combined effect of these two subsections is to deprive persons sitting as members of the Special Criminal Court, at any time, of judicial independence to the extent and with the effect that persons tried before that Court are deprived of theright to a trial in due course of law guaranteed by Article 38.1 of theConstitution.The...

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3 cases
  • McKee v Culligan
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1992
    ...235. Doyle v. An Taoiseach [1986] I.L.R.M. 693. Dublin Heating Co. v. Hefferon [1992] I.L.R.M. 51. Eccles v. Ireland [1985] I.R. 545; [1986] I.L.R.M. 343. Ellis v. O'Dea (No. 2) [1991] 1 I.R. 251; [1991] I.L.R.M. 346. Finucane v. McMahon [1990] 1 I.R. 165; [1990] I.L.R.M. 550. Hamilton v. H......
  • Quinlivan v Governor of Portlaoise Prison
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 1 January 1998
    ...I.L.R.M. 693. East Donegal Co-operative Livestock Mart Ltd. v. Attorney General [1970] I.R. 317. Eccles v. Ireland [1985] I.R. 545; [1986] I.L.R.M. 343. Gloucester Union v. Woolwich Union [1917] 2 K.B. 374. Hamilton v. Hamilton [1982] I.R. 466; [1982] I.L.R.M. 290. Hegarty v. O'Loughran [19......
  • Kavanagh v Ireland
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1997
    ...OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S35(5) BURKE, STATE V LENNON 1940 IR 136 BUCKLEY V AG 1950 IR 67 ECCLES & ORS V IRELAND & ORS 1986 ILRM 343 OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 S36 DPP, PEOPLE V QUILLIGAN 1986 IR 495 OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE ACT 1939 PART II OFFENCES AGAINST THE STA......

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