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Detention not rendered unlawful by applicant’s conveyance to family court

By: Hannah Godfrey BL

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High Court dismisses habeas corpus application, on the grounds that: (a) it was clear from the evidence that the arrest was for the purpose of charging the applicant; (b) there had been no unlawful delay in charging the applicant as an arrest other than by appointment involves a certain amount of delay unlike where a person is arrested by appointment at a specific time; (c) the dominant purpose of the detention was to bring the applicant to a criminal court and bringing a lawfully detained person before the family court to comply with the request of the judge did not render the detention unlawful; and (d) the applicant himself had responsibility for the later delay where he had falsely claimed to have Covid-19 symptoms, and the delay of a few hours that preceded this was not in breach of the obligation to bring the applicant before the criminal court as soon as practicable.

Application pursuant to Article 40.4 of the Constitution - applicant arrested on suspicion of having committed a number of offences in a violent domestic attack, including assaulting his 90-year-old father and taking his father’s phone - subsequently released on bail with obligation to sign on daily - on one occasion of signing on, applicant informed by member of An Garda Síochána that he was supposed to be in the District Court in Dolphin House - applicant stated that he didn't need to attend as it was for a barring order - applicant then re-arrested for purpose of charging pursuant to s. 10(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 - upon learning of re-arrest judge hearing the family proceedings requested that the applicant be brought to court so that the barring order could be finalised - applicant requested solicitor and was facilitated in this - applicant brought to Dolphin House as requested by judge before being brought before the District Court in respect of the criminal charges - barring order finalised at 1.20pm by which time criminal court had finished sitting until evening session at 4.30pm - applicant returned to garda station - raised issue that he had possible Covid-19 symptoms and doctor's attendance meant that evening session was also missed - later that evening Article 40 application made - onus of proof on respondent as to lawfulness of detention - whether the arrest was other than for the purposes of being charged - whether there was unlawful delay in charging the applicant - whether taking the applicant to Dolphin House in accordance with a request from a judge rendered the detention unlawful - whether the requirement to bring the applicant to a criminal court as soon as practicable was breached overall.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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