Fitzpatrick v Shields

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMISS JUSTICE CARROLL
Judgment Date01 January 1989
Neutral Citation1989 WJSC-HC 1494
Docket NumberJR No. 179/1987.
CourtHigh Court
Date01 January 1989

1989 WJSC-HC 1494

THE HIGH COURT

JR No. 179/1987.
FITZPATRICK v. SHIELDS
JUDICIAL REVIEW

BETWEEN

JOAN FITZPATRICK
Applicant

and

DISTRICT JUSTICE DANIEL SHIELDS and THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLICPROSECUTIONS
Respondents
1

JUDGMENT OF MISS JUSTICE CARROLL, DELIVERED THE 27th DAY OF NOVEMBER 1987.

2

The periods of delay in this case can be broken into several stages. First there is the investigation from October 1983 until December 1985. The State cannot just walk away from this period on ground that the Detective who was initially investigating the matter was transferred from the Garda Fraud Squad and that consequently the investigation had to be handed over to another detective. Second, there is the decision to prosecute the applicant taken in January 1986. Third, the applicant was arrested on the 27th of May 1986. Fourth, the Book of Evidence was served on the Applicant on the 25th of June 1986. Thus there was a six month delay between the decision to prosecute and the service of the Book of Evidence on the Applicant. Also the Book of Evidence does not contain all the evidence of the charges against the applicant. It does not contain crucial evidence, namely statements from the Bank Manager involved in the alleged transaction; nor other bank officials whom the Prosecution wish to rely on. It follows that the applicant does not know the entire case against her. This is a factor which prejudices the applicant. It might be different if there was some entry or note of this evidence in the Book of Evidence.

3

Since the 18th of December 1986 when District Justice Neilan held that the Order exhibited in the Book of Evidence under the Bankers Books Evidence Acts, were invalid because the said Acts required it to be made by a Judge of the High Court, the State knew that they would have to apply to the High Court on Notice for any such Order. There was further delay until the 25th day of JuneJudgment of Miss Justice Carroll (2) Fitzpatrick v DJ Shields & Ors. 1987 when the case was listed for Mention to fix a date for taking Depositions and the 29th day of June 1987 when the Applicant obtained liberty to apply for Judicial Review by way of prohibition against theRespondents.

4

The cumulative effect of all these delays is that a long delay at an early stage of the proceedings means that a short delay at a later stage which might have been unobjectionable is no longer tolerable. The delay in the preparation of the Book of...

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