People v Rice

JurisdictionIreland
Judgment Date01 January 1979
Date01 January 1979
Docket Number[C.C.A. No. 56 of 1975]
CourtCourt of Criminal Appeal
The People v. Rice
The People (at the Suit of the Director of Public Prosecutions)
and
James Rice
[C.C.A. No. 56 of 1975]

Court of Criminal Appeal

Statute - Interpretation - Adaptation - Practice and procedure - Procedure in Central Criminal Court adopted for trial by Special Criminal Court - Statutory power exercisable by jury - Exercise of power not matter of procedure - Power not exercisable by Special Criminal Court - Offences Against the State Act, 1939 (No. 13), s. 41.

An accused was tried by the Special Criminal Court (consisting of three judges) on an indictment for robbery contrary to s. 23 of the Larceny Act, 1916. The court acquitted him of the charge of robbery, convicted him of assault with intent to rob and sentenced him accordingly. Section 44, sub-s. 1, of the Act of 1916 provides that, if on the trial of any indictment for robbery it is proved that the defendant committed an assault with intent to rob, "the jury may acquit" the defendant of robbery and find him guilty of an assault with intent to rob and that, thereupon, he shall be liable to be punished accordingly. The accused applied to the Court of Criminal Appeal for leave to appeal against his conviction and, at the hearing of the application, the respondent submitted that the Special Criminal Court was entitled to exercise the power conferred on "the jury" by s. 44, sub-s. 1, of the Act of 1916 since the provisions of s. 41, sub-s. 4, of the Offences Against the State Act, 1939, state that the "practice and procedure" applicable to the trial of a person on indictment in the Central Criminal Court shall apply, so far as practicable, to the trial of a person by a Special Criminal Court.

Held by the Court of Criminal Appeal (Henchy, Murnaghan and McMahon JJ.), in granting the application and allowing the appeal, that the power conferred on a jury by s. 44, sub-s. 1, of the Act of 1916 had not been vested in the Special Criminal Court since that sub-section created a substantive jurisdiction which was not a mere matter of practice or procedure.

The State (O'Flaherty) v. O FloinnIR [1954] I.R. 295 considered.

Cases mentioned in this report:—

1 Poyser v. MinorsELR (1881) 7 Q.B.D. 329.

2 The State (O'Flaherty) v. O FloinnIR [1954] I.R. 295.

3 McHarg v. Universal Stock ExchangeELR [1895] 2 Q.B. 81.

Criminal Appeal.

The Court of Criminal Appeal here held that the Special Criminal Court had no jurisdiction to exercise the power conferred on "the jury" by s. 44, sub-s. 1, of the Larceny Act, 1916. That jurisdiction has been conferred by the Criminal Justice ( Verdicts) Act, 1976.

On the 24th July, 1975, the Special Criminal Court (consisting of three judges) convicted the applicant, James Rice, of assault with intent to rob and sentenced him to four years penal servitude; the court refused to grant him leave to appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal. The applicant applied to the Court of Criminal Appeal for leave to appeal against his conviction and the application, which was opposed by the respondent (the Director of Public Prosecutions), was heard on the 3rd November, 1975.

Cur. adv. vult.

The judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeal (Henchy, Murnaghan and McMahon JJ.) was delivered by Mr. Justice Henchy.

Henchy J.

The applicant seeks leave to appeal against his conviction in the Special Criminal Court for an assault with...

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6 cases
  • MD v The Board of Secondary School
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 10 April 2024
    ...of the term ‘practice and procedure’, part of the practice and procedure…It is a matter of substantive jurisdiction”: The People v. Rice [1979] IR 15 at 19, per Henchy J. On the coming into force of the Constitution on 29 th December 1937 the High Court was not empowered to grant the equiva......
  • Delaney v The Personal Injuries Board and Others
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 9 April 2024
    ...of the term ‘practice and procedure’, part of the practice and procedure…It is a matter of substantive jurisdiction”: The People v. Rice [1979] IR 15 at 19, per Henchy J. In much the same vein this Court has held that the jurisdiction of the Superior Court Rules Committee does not extend to......
  • Dowdall v DPP, The Minister for Justice, Dáil Éireann, Ireland and The Attorney General, Hutch v DPP, Minister for Justice, Dáil Éireann and Seanad Eireann, Ireland and The Attorney General
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 29 July 2022
    ...was, moreover, a statute-based court with no inherent jurisdiction: see, e.g., The People (Director of Public Prosecutions) v. Rice [1979] IR 15 at 20, per Henchy 6 . Precisely as required by Article 38.3.2, the jurisdiction of the Court was carefully prescribed by ss. 46 and 47 of the 1939......
  • KEANE v Bord Pleanála
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 4 October 1995
    ...CLR 327 LOCAL GOVT ACT 1906 (AUS) R V SOUTH LONDON CORONER EX PARTE THOMPSON 1892 126 SJ 625 MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT 1894 PART II DPP V RICE 1979 IR 15 MCCARTHY V O'FLYNN 1979 IR 127 1 Judgment of Mr. Justice Francis D. Murphydelivered the 4th day of October, 1995. 2In this the second of tw......
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