People (Attorney General) v Bell

JurisdictionIreland
Judgment Date01 January 1971
Date01 January 1971
CourtSupreme Court
(S.C.)
The People (Attorney General)
and
Bell

Costs - Criminal proceedings by indictment - Accused found not guilty by jury - Accused applying for costs of defence -Discretion of High Court applicable to "costs of . . . every proceeding" - Rules of the Superior Courts, 1962 (S.I. No. 72 of 1962), Or. 99, r. 1, sub-r. 1 - Courts of Justice Act, 1924 (No. 10 of 1924), s. 36 - Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act, 1961 (No. 39 of 1961), ss. 8, 14 - Constitution - Supreme Court - Jurisdiction - Appeal from High Court on issue of costs only - Leave to appeal obtained - Leave unnecessary - No restriction on appellate jurisdiction of Supreme Court -Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Ireland)1877 (40 41 Vict. c. 57), ss. 52, 53, 61, 65 -Constitution of Ireland, Articles 34, 36, 40, 50 -Statute - Interpretation - Literal meaning of phrase resulting in an absurdity - Enactment-Repeal by implication.

Section 53 of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Ireland), 1877, enacted that, subject to the terms of the Act and of rules of court, the costs of every proceeding in the High Court of Justice in Ireland should be in the discretion of that court, but s. 65 of that Act provided that, subject to rules of court made under the Act, the practice and procedure in all criminal causes or matters in that court should be the same as existed before the Act of 1877. No rules of court were made under the Act of 1877 providing for the award of costs by that court in criminal proceedings by indictment, and there was no jurisdiction before the Act of 1877 to award such costs. Section 36 of the Courts of Justice Act, 1924, enables rules of court to be made in relation to "pleading, practice and procedure generally in all criminal cases" and s. 14, sub-s. 2 of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act, 1961, enacts that the jurisdiction "which is by virtue of this Act"vested in or exercisable by the present High Court shall be exercised in regard to pleading, practice and procedure generally "including liability to costs" in the manner provided by rules of court made under s. 36 of the Act of 1924. The Rules of the Superior Courts, 1962, were made pursuant to the said s. 36 and provided at Order 99, r. 1, that (subject as therein) the costs of "every proceeding" in the present High Court should be in the discretion of that court. At the conclusion of a criminal trial by indictment in the High Court (Central Criminal Court) the accused, who had been found not guilty by the jury...

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