State (Lawlor), The v District Justice MacCraith

JurisdictionIreland
Judgment Date03 November 1964
Date03 November 1964
CourtHigh Court
The State (Lawlor) v. District Justice MacCraith.
THE STATE (at the Prosecution of JAMES LAWLOR)
and
DISTRICT JUSTICE SEOSAMH M. MacCRAITH.In the Matter of An Bunreacht and In the Matter of the Courts of Justice Acts, 1924-1953 And in the Matter of The Game (Ireland) Act, 1787, as amended by the Game Preservation Act
1930.

District Court - Jurisdiction - Prosecution under s. 10 of the Game (Ireland) Act, 1787, as amended by s. 16 of the Game Preservation Act, 1930 -Conviction entered in Justice's Minute Book as "Looking for game: fine£8 or three months" - Validity of conviction - Right of Court to regard entry as a whole - Certiorari - Criminal Justice Act, 1951 (No. 2 of 1951), s. 21.

Certiorari.

The prosecutor, James Lawlor, was convicted in the District Court upon a charge under s. 10 of the Game (Ireland) Act, 1787, as amended by s. 16 of the Game Preservation Act, 1930. The entry of conviction in the Justice's Minute Book read:—"Convicted looking for game: fine £8 or three months." The prosecutor obtained in the High Court a conditional order of certiorari to quash the order of the District Court on the ground that the said order was bad on its face (a) as being vague, ambiguous and uncertain; (b) because it did not show jurisdiction; (c) because it did not disclose that the prosecutor was guilty of any offence; (d) because it purported to find the prosecutor guilty of an offence not known to statute or common law; and (e) because it failed to show that the District Justice had come to any decision.

A conditional order of certiorari had also been obtained by one, William Davis, in similar circumstances, and both cases were heard together.

The prosecutor was charged in the District Court that on the 22nd January, 1961, at Ardrass, Celbridge, in the County of Kildare, he did unlawfully enter upon the lands of one, F., to look for, take, kill, or destroy game, contrary to s. 10 of the Game (Ireland) Act, 1787, as amended by s. 16 of the Game Preservation Act, 1930. He was convicted of "looking for game," and was fined "£8 or three months." He applied for, and obtained, a conditional order ofcertiorari. On the application to make absolute the conditional order, notwithstanding cause shown, it was contended on his behalf (a) that a conviction for "looking for game" was vague, ambiguous and uncertain, and that it purported to convict of an offence unknown to the law, and (b) that the sentence as recorded was ambiguous and uncertain.

Held by Davitt P., 1, that the conviction, "looking for game," when read in conjunction with the charge was certain and unambiguous, and that to interpret the adjudication it was proper to read the entry in the Justice's Minute Book as a whole;

2, That the sentence imposed by the conviction was uncertain, and, accordingly, a conviction being an entire judgment, this defect vitiated the conviction as a whole;

3, That the conditional order accordingly must be made absolute.

Cur. adv. vult.

Davitt P. :—

The facts of this matter appear to be briefly as follows: on the 17th February last the prosecutor, Lawlor, appeared before the respondent at Kilcock District Court in answer to two summonses. On the first of these he was charged that on the 22nd January, 1961, at Ardrass, Celbridge, in the County Kildare, he did unlawfully enter upon the lands of Leo...

To continue reading

Request your trial
2 cases
  • Duffy v News Group Newspapers Ltd (No. 2)
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1994
    ... ... Otherwise, as the Chief Justice observed in the course of the debate before us, the trial ... ...
  • State (at the prosecution of John Clarke) v Maura Roche
    • Ireland
    • Supreme Court
    • 1 January 1987
    ...D.P.P. v. Gill [1980] I.R. 263. Minister for Agriculture v. Norgro Ltd. [1980] I.R. 155. Attorney General (McDonnell) v. Higgins [1964] I.R. 364. R. (Bridges and Ram) v. Armagh Justices [1897] 2 I.R. 263. R. (Athy Urban District Council) v. Kildare Justices [1912] 2 I.R. 64. R. (Daly) v. Co......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT