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 Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce

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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:22 pm

I'll defer to Kate P on that one as she would have way more experience around the District Courts than I would. I rarely have cause to look for a judgement from any court below the High Court - which is well reported. I would imagine it is not that simple beyond what is written in the papers though. It wouldn't be cost effective to have it all listed online. You would probably get whatever you wanted under a FOI request. I'm just speculating though.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:24 pm

Well, tape recording and a stenographer would be a start. The principle is that justice should be done and seen to be done. If there is no record then there is no accumulated wisdom from previous cases.

I've sat through a few cases in which the judges conducted themselves in a way that would shame the most disturbed inmates of an old style lunatic asylum.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:29 pm

Indeed but equally as the Supreme Court itself has pointed out, the actual presence of the public is never necessary but the administration of justice in public does require that the doors of the courts must be open so that members of the public may come and see for themselves that justice is done.

I would assume there are various meetings and internal reports between the various District justices on a particular Circuit where issues about cases coming up in their areas are discussed. Beyond that they all take their cue from the superior courts.

I would also hazard to guess that the situation with regard to reporting issues in the District Court will improve when the new criminal courts complex is opened in a year or so. It is going to be all techno techno.

That said, I'm just speculating on alot of this as I haven't had a whole lot to do with the District Court.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:24 am

Kate P wrote:
A link isn't mandatory, but it would have been helpful, not least because you didn't state that you had been there, because as a self-confessed activist, you're obviously posting from your perspective and also because court reporters have a number of strictures on them, none of which apply to a person summarising a case whether they've been there or not.
Hermes wrote:
I considered that a link would not be helpful in either the posting of what I witnessed or indeed on the postings of my opinion. To post a link would have been an act of bowing to an authority that doesn't exist. All such strictures 'imposed' upon the media are self imposed or are imposed upon reporters by those who agree to print their works. When I post to a forum, my views etc. are up for discussion, this is not the case with the media and therefore the strictures imposed upon myself are very much more rigorous.

Kate P wrote:
Your first sentence in bold is factually incorrect. Court reporting is a legal minefield, not because of strictures imposted by 'media outlets' or by reporters themselves. It is illegal for example to identify a minor, to publish - on a forum or any other medium material which might allow the victim of an alleged sexual assault to be identfied, it's illegal to reveal details of a manufacturing formula and I'm sure you're familiar with the provisions of the Bail Act 2006, the Criminal Procedure Act 1987...

You are no doubt also aware of the statutory and common-law privileges attaching to reports and those who report them.

This is a case of moving the goalposts. We are discussing my style of court reporting compared to the style of reporting that is usually produced in the media. You have now moved onto restrictions that are imposed upon everybody and not limited to the media. More to the point, I have not violated a single stricture that you've mentioned. Discussing what I may and may not be familiar with will hardly resolve any actual fault that exists in what I've written, particularly so with regard to the legality of what I've written and to a lesser degree, the morality or lack of it, in what I've said.

Quote :
What your final sentence means, in the context of the one before it, I have absolutely no idea. You have reported on a court hearing - and refused to provide a link. I'm not sure what strictures you feel bound to that are more rigorous than those to which court reporters and journalists are bound.

Your opinions, given in later paragraphs of the OP are indeed bound by different strictures to those which apply to court reporting. There are constitutional and human rights provisions as well as defamation considerations to be borne in mind.

You are entitled to those opinions once they are based on "facts which are truly stated."

Have you ever seen a court report in the printed media, that provided a link to another version of the same events?

I didn't think so. That's a double standard.

Now, what I meant with my final sentence is that everything I've written is up for discussion and examination, with yourself and other members of the public. I'm also bound by the same legal strictures that you've outlined and have complied with them in full. If anything I've said is a lie, incorrect, morally offensive, flippant or whatever, the fact that it's all up for discussion will end in my being exposed. What journalist do you know of who puts himself or herself through so much?

I'm unsure of where you're headed with regard to your comment on human rights and defamation. Are you suggesting that I'm violating someone's rights?

On top of this, you agree that I have a right to have and express opinions (see section 10 of ECHR) if it is backed by facts. Again, is there some evidence to suggest that anything in the OP is not founded on fact? Even a cursory reading of reports to be found elsewhere will point to the very same set of facts that I based opinions I offered on.

Kate P wrote:
The case was tried in the DC but it's my understanding that the judge could have declined jurisdiction if he felt it would have been better dealt with in the Circuit Court - johnfás will know if that discretion is only relevant to cases of assault causing harm.
Hermes wrote:
I've never heard of a judge in the District Court accepting jurisdiction in a murder case. What's on the summons decides upon what the judge can and cannot decline. There are varying degrees of assault. On this particular summons, the case was destined to be heard in the district court, excepting of course had the defendant demanded to be tried by a jury in the Circuit court - this didn't happen of course.

Kate P wrote:
Sections 3 and 4 are indictable. This was clearly Section 2 and was destined to be heard in the District Court but the accused did not have the right of election. It's a summary offence, it is not an indictable offence - it would never have gone to the Circuit Court.

Drawing blood does not necessarily mean the assault causes harm - that, as you rightly suggest is your opinion. He could have been charged with assault simplicitor however, even if he hadn't made contact with her.

*edit, just read your comment johnfás about jurisdiction. Thanks.

You may feel that you're disagreeing with me here, but you're not. I've already said that this matter was tried as a summary matter - 'common assault' it was obviously tried as a section two. I've not said otherwise, indeed that was my actual complaint. I've two issues with this. The first one should have been obvious to you.

i. This was tried as a summary matter. Why was the DPP involved? Is it not standard procedure for the investigating officer, or rather the officer bringing the case, to prosecute such a matter.

ii. Why was the officer who acted for the ombudsman not competent to prosecute the matter. And surely if the ombudsman had been competent, the DPP need never have been involved and the case might have gotten to court on time.

I have stated time and time again with regard to my belief that the matter should have been titled a section 3 and that it was mere opinion. That would have warranted the involvement of the DPP. And what you have said about blood is opinion on your part, I believe. Check out Charlie Bird's injuries (some blood no permanent and lasting physical injury) from the assault committed upon him in the Dublin riot and note the difference in charges proferred. I still admit I'm offering opinion, but I've offered Charlie Bird (as an example off the top of my head) and my point about the involvement of the DPP.


Last edited by Hermes on Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:33 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:25 am

Kate P wrote:
Aside from all of the above, which are technicalities about technicalities, you of all people know the importance of procedures and one of the first things the defence will do is look to see that the prosecution has been executed correctly. In fact the judge can't continue with the case if the basis for the prosecution is not sound. There have been a number of significant examples of this - one involving a judge himself - but what you're doing here is casting aspersions on two important organs of the state while having no hint of a suggestion of impropriety on behalf of either of them.
Hermes wrote:
I've cast no aspersions whatsoever. In what I've written, fact and opinion are clearly differentiated. Calling either party a joke is not inferring impropriety on either. The fact that either the Ombudsman or the DPP made a complete pig's ear of this case is hardly an issue that's up for question - though that is an
assumption on my part and I'd welcome discussing any contrary opinion.

Kate P wrote:
You've suggested that there is no legitimate reason for the delay in the procurement of the warrant - even though there may well be. You've done it in three different ways in your third paragraph.

No I most certainly haven't said that, at all. That's the same as saying that no reason exists at all and I haven't said that. I've said that there is no acceptable reason. I said that a pig's ear had been made of the case. And nothing you've said thus far has suggested otherwise. There are plenty of reasons as to why it should be easier to prosecute a garda, above an ordinary citizen, owing to the extra time allowed. There are plenty of reasons why I find it unacceptable that the one and only case that the ombudsman has brought to court failed to be brought properly. I quite rightly add the DPP into this mixture. As firstly, if it was a summary offence, as you insist, the DPP need not have been involved at all, and secondly, and very much in relation, it cannot be argued that the DPP's involvement didn't add to the time it took to bring this matter to the court.

Kate P wrote:
That you're disgusted because a technicality may have been seen to 'benefit' someone on the other side to you is an interesting comment on your attitude to the law. You don't like it when it doesn't suit you and you don't like it when it does suit others.

I take offense at this, though I'm sure that none was intended. I take offence because it is the second time today that I have been misrepresented about the same point. Tonys did it first when he said that I was offended that the law was broken and yet I was quite happy to break it myself, whenever the mood took me.

Allow me to repost the comment that's causing so much difficulty:

Hermes wrote:
Normally, as an activist, I'm a big fan of technicalities, as it allows one to bring a civil case after a failed prosecution, without having to give the evil doers a heads up to the quality and scope of one's evidence against them. However, there is not a single aspect of this case that doesn't disgust me. Even the fact that it appeared in the District Court is cause for concern in my view. The fact that the victim was left bleeding merited a trial in front of a jury in the Circuit Court. Of course the DPP stooges had discretion here. I for one would like to know how they used their discretion and why they decided that the District Court was to be the venue. The evidence was clear cut and corroborated.

Not a mention of my being disgusted that someone would benefit from a technicality. In fact we have the opposite. I respect and like technicalities. I neither like nor respect shoddy workmanship and I was very clear in how I expressed this. More to the point, I believe that everyone should feel this way and what I said was not in any way related to an 'us against them' style of argument. If you think there is something wanting in this actual viewpoint, then by all means lets discuss it. I'm not prepared to defend what I haven't written. I think that's reasonable too.

Kate P wrote:
The fact here is that the summons wasn't procured in time and that's the only fact of which we are aware. We don't know that the synchronised' action of the Ombudsman and the DPP is the cause of that. You claim - on what basis I have no idea, that both organisations are to be found wanting.

I've already said a number of times, including in this response, that there are a number of facts that influence my belief as to why the synchronized effort was unacceptable. If you take issue with any one of them, please be specific, outline what it is you don't accept and I'll be happy to answer to your concerns.


Last edited by Hermes on Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Sat Feb 28, 2009 3:42 am

Kate P wrote:
There's no doubt but that the DPP does understand the law but that doesn't mean that it gets everything right, every single time because it relies on human beings to get it right at every step of the way. No doubt you'd be complaining too if the case was withdrawn without coming to court. If the DPP did know the documentation wasn't in order, at least that emerged in public.

The summons wasn't procured in time. But I wonder - and maybe there's a legal mind out there who might be able to answer this, whether the case was dismissed without prejudice, in which case the defendant could possibly (?) be arrested and charged with the same offence. Is a criminal prosecution now completely out of the question?

You've illustrated no reason whatsoever as to why I shouldn't consider a pig's ear to be a pig's ear. Yes, humans mess up, Christ knows, I'm familiar with that, I'm human too and many pig's ears have my paw prints on them. But a pig's ear is a pig's ear.

This matter cannot be brought back to court. The Judge quite rightly tossed it. If they're outside time, they're outside time. Bringing the matter again will only mean that they're even more outside the time allowed.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:23 pm

There's a difference between a summons and a charge, though. Does a person have to be charged within twelve months too?

What's your beef with the DPP, Hermes?
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Sun Mar 01, 2009 4:57 am

curmudgeon wrote:
There's a difference between a summons and a charge, though. Does a person have to be charged within twelve months too?

What's your beef with the DPP, Hermes?

Nope. The time limit applies only to beginning the process of seeking a summons. Tis actually a six month time limit and the clock starts ticking on the date of the offence. The 12 month limit applies to gardaí.

I'm afraid my beef with the DPP isn't a single thing it's a series of them and when you combine them they add up to the fact that I detest them. There are plenty of folks in the DPP who are great people and are great at their jobs, they tend to lessen the crappiness of the whole. The DPP is under financed and under resourced. Complete gobshites and self-obsessed wankers tend to rise to positions of power. The entity is structured in such a fashion that examining the merits of a case, that should take maybe an hour or so can literally take weeks, sometimes it can take months. I could go on and on...

The solution would explain my beef better: Increase their budget by at least 50%. No more production line type methodology, one case one person with another to proofread. Sack most of the clique that infest the upper echelons and promote some of the very capable who should be running things.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:33 pm

Quote :
I'm afraid my beef with the DPP isn't a single thing it's a series of them and when you combine them they add up to the fact that I detest them. There are plenty of folks in the DPP who are great people and are great at their jobs, they tend to lessen the crappiness of the whole. The DPP is under financed and under resourced. Complete gobshites and self-obsessed wankers tend to rise to positions of power. The entity is structured in such a fashion that examining the merits of a case, that should take maybe an hour or so can literally take weeks, sometimes it can take months. I could go on and on...

The solution would explain my beef better: Increase their budget by at least 50%. No more production line type methodology, one case one person with another to proofread. Sack most of the clique that infest the upper echelons and promote some of the very capable who should be running things.

Increase the budget by at least 50%? - you must mean 500% if you want the equivalent of two people one case.

You still don't say what underlies your obvious pissed-offness with them. They get a hell of a lot more right than they get wrong.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:16 pm

Currently, a multitude of hands deal with any particular case. At the end of the day, a certain amount of time is needed to process any single case. That won't change. Excepting maybe that the process might speed up a tad. Traceability and accountability would change too. Currently, if there's a screw up, it's close to impossible to trace it to any individual.

I don't like the DPP for reasons related to stuff I've pointed to and because in my own dealings with them, I've found them to be less than helpful and less than competent.

Take this case for example. It was prosecuted as a summary matter. The fact that the ombudsman sent a file to the DPP, suggests to me that the ombudsman didn't consider it a summary matter - if they'd considered it a summary matter, they could have applied for a summons themselves and prosecuted the matter. You or I can prosecute a section 1 or a section 2 assault. It's only for a section 3 or a section 4 assault that the DPP's involvement is mandatory. If the DPP decided that this matter was a summary issue, they should have just told the ombudsman to prosecute the matter themselves. Having the DPP prosecute such a matter is a waste of their resources and is to only half use the resources that are paid for in full also of the ombudsman.

Fair enough, sometimes you'll get a massively complex summary matter - multiple witnesses, scientific evidence and what have you - the DPP might decide to prosecute the matter in this instance and rightly so. But in this particular case, the evidence was minimal and simplistic. It was very straight forward. I suppose this case is slightly different than the norm, in that the body that did the investigation was the ombudsman and the defendant was a garda, so this probably isn't the best example. But I've seen this happen on many's an occasion with run of the mill summary matters.

And I don't believe they get it right more often than they get it wrong. Maybe when a case makes it into the court and goes the full distance, they've a decent enough record. But what about all the cases that get tossed because the DPP has not done the homework required, cases that don't make it to court at all because of delays and other mess ups, and cases that are overturned on appeal because it is found that the DPP botched it or cut corners. The majority of convictions in this country arise from the defendant pleading guilty, not from the sterling work of the DPP.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:23 pm

As a crime is a wrong against the State, nobody but the State, or delegated bodies, can prosecute any criminal matter.

An individual can sue in tort for any damage suffered, but an individual may not prosecute a crime.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:27 pm

johnfás wrote:
As a crime is a wrong against the State, nobody but the State, or delegated bodies, can prosecute any criminal matter.

An individual can sue in tort for any damage suffered, but an individual may not prosecute a crime.

Any individual may initiate a private prosecution. With regard to assault, an individual may prosecute either a section 1 or a section 2, in a section 3 or a section 4, it is the duty under law of the DPP to assume the role of prosecutor.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:28 pm

Obviously they don't get everything right. I don't have an overview. I know of one case in which a woman who had been imprisoned by her employer for several days and seriously battered by him could not get the DPP to take a case against him. He had done the same to another woman previously (no case taken). With the assistance of a woman garda she took a civil case which she won. The man was not pursued by the Gardai and he left the country without penalty. That was 15 years ago. I think, and hope, that that kind of thing doesn't go on so much now, but the perception used to be that it was very difficult to get a rape case, or a case of assault of a woman by a man, to court.

The Courts are always full of poor people.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:36 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Obviously they don't get everything right. I don't have an overview. I know of one case in which a woman who had been imprisoned by her employer for several days and seriously battered by him could not get the DPP to take a case against him. He had done the same to another woman previously (no case taken). With the assistance of a woman garda she took a civil case which she won. The man was not pursued by the Gardai and he left the country without penalty. That was 15 years ago. I think, and hope, that that kind of thing doesn't go on so much now, but the perception used to be that it was very difficult to get a rape case, or a case of assault of a woman by a man, to court.

The Courts are always full of poor people.

If memory serves correct, 1% of all rapes in this country will end in a conviction. This is not completely the fault of the justice department mind you, as lots of cases are never complained of, more are complained of when the evidence has gone. But nonetheless, our record for dealing with rapists is pretty abysmal.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:57 am

Hermes wrote:
johnfás wrote:
As a crime is a wrong against the State, nobody but the State, or delegated bodies, can prosecute any criminal matter.

An individual can sue in tort for any damage suffered, but an individual may not prosecute a crime.

Any individual may initiate a private prosecution. With regard to assault, an individual may prosecute either a section 1 or a section 2, in a section 3 or a section 4, it is the duty under law of the DPP to assume the role of prosecutor.


Johnfás, can a person be charged on something they haven't been convicted of when summonsed? Is it possible that the Garda could be arrested and charged, even though he was before the courts on a summons this time? It is an arrestable offence, isn't it?

There's no such things as a Section 1 assault as far as I'm aware - Section 1 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 is the interpretation...
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Mon Mar 02, 2009 2:33 am

Kate P wrote:
There's no such things as a Section 1 assault as far as I'm aware - Section 1 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 is the interpretation...

My apologies. You're quite right, there is no such thing as a section 1, it is the interpretation. Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:04 am

Not a problem, Hermes.

Do you know how this matter was investigated and when the Ombudsman got involved? It would have been up to Emma or someone acting on her behalf to make the complaint to the Ombudsman. The criminal investigation may have been underway at that point and it was probably supervised by the Ombudsman then - do you know either way?

Quote :
The fact that the ombudsman sent a file to the DPP, suggests to me that the ombudsman didn't consider it a summary matter - if they'd considered it a summary matter, they could have applied for a summons themselves and prosecuted the matter.

My read of this, from looking at the legislation and the Ombudsman's website is that the Ombudsman, on looking into the case if it felt it warranted a criminal prosecution may send a file to the DPP. I don't see how the ombudsman can bring a prosecution on his own. I didn't see the provision for that in the Garda Síochána Act - though that doesn't mean it's not there.


Quote :
You or I can prosecute a section 1 or a section 2 assault. It's only for a section 3 or a section 4 assault that the DPP's involvement is mandatory. If the DPP decided that this matter was a summary issue, they should have just told the ombudsman to prosecute the matter themselves. Having the DPP prosecute such a matter is a waste of their resources and is to only half use the resources that are paid for in full also of the ombudsman.

My read of this is firstly, because a criminal offence is involved and the DPP has no powers to punish, the only recourse was to send the file to the DPP. The ombudsman doesn't have powers to prosecute. And neither does the individual - though as johnfás said earlier, the individual can take a civil action and can take a constitutional action.

It would seem to me that the correct procedures were followed.

Are you sure they weren't?
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:16 am

Kate P wrote:
Do you know how this matter was investigated and when the Ombudsman got involved? It would have been up to Emma or someone acting on her behalf to make the complaint to the Ombudsman. The criminal investigation may have been underway at that point and it was probably supervised by the Ombudsman then - do you know either way?

I'm unsure as to whether Ms Collins initiated the investigation by the ombudsman or whether the Garda commissioner initiated it. I don't know the date on which the ombudsman got involved either. It didn't come up in evidence (To my knowledge. I was there for a different matter and my ears didn't perk up until I heard the word "ombudsman.") . But what I do know is this: At the end of February of last year the investigation was well under way. Shane White, an officer for the ombudsman said in evidence that he had interviewed Gda Waldron in the Commission's offices in Dublin on the 28th of February. That's approximately 3 months after the initial incident.

Hermes wrote:
The fact that the ombudsman sent a file to the DPP, suggests to me that the ombudsman didn't consider it a summary matter - if they'd considered it a summary matter, they could have applied for a summons themselves and prosecuted the matter.
Kate P wrote:
My read of this, from looking at the legislation and the Ombudsman's website is that the Ombudsman, on looking into the case if it felt it warranted a criminal prosecution may send a file to the DPP. I don't see how the ombudsman can bring a prosecution on his own. I didn't see the provision for that in the Garda Síochána Act - though that doesn't mean it's not there.

I think what you've just said, bears out what I've said. I've put the appropriate bit in bold. If the ombudsman feels a prosecution is warranted, he may send a file to the DPP. The word "may" shows that there's a discretionary power here. For all intents and purposes, an officer acting for the ombudsman has the exact same powers as a member of the gardaí. Here's part of Section 98 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, to show what I mean:

Quote :
98.—(1) If directed by the Ombudsman Commission under section 91 (2)(b), 92(c), 94(8 )(a) or 94(11)(b) to investigate a complaint under this section, a designated officer has, in relation to the member of the Garda Síochána under investigation, for the purposes of the investigation all the powers, immunities and privileges conferred and all the duties imposed on any member of the Garda Síochána by or under any enactment or the common law, including those relating to the following matters:

(a) the entry and search of any place (other than a Garda Síochána station) pursuant to a warrant issued in accordance with law and the seizure of things authorised by the warrant;

(b) the arrest, with or without a warrant, of a person;

(c) the bringing of a charge against a person;

(d) the issue of a summons to a person;

(e) the search of a person and the taking of his or her photograph, fingerprints and palmprints;

(f) the detention and questioning of a person;

(g) the taking of bodily samples or other things from a person for the purpose of forensic testing.

...

From this we can also see that the ombudsman can apply for an issuing of a summons under his own steam.

Not only can the ombudsman initiate a prosecution, he can actually do the prosecuting, so long as the offence is not an indictible one, just like a member of the gardaí. I'm very sure of this but cannot remember the exact piece of legislation that facilitates it (never thought I'd have to refer to it scratch ). But I did come across this from the Office of the Information Commissioner, it's taken from some talk dealing with FOI:

Quote :
In relation to policing, the problem is with the blanket nature of the exemption under the FOI Act which is, of course, amenable to change by the simple method of ministerial regulation. It makes little sense to maintain such a blanket exemption post the establishment of the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission and the Garda Inspectorate. The non-existence of blanket exemptions in respect of bodies other than An Garda Siochana with prosecution powers and functions has not impeded their effective functioning. It is noteworthy that even the DPP is in the process of examining an analogous issue of giving reasons for non-prosecution. In a context in which the norm in comparable jurisdictions is to have policing services covered by FOI it is an obvious next step in making An Garda Siochana fully accountable. It is somewhat remarkable that this step has not been taken given the amount of controversy arising from failures to make An Garda Siochana fully accountable in the recent past.
Link to full document.

Kate P wrote:
My read of this is firstly, because a criminal offence is involved and the DPP has no powers to punish, the only recourse was to send the file to the DPP. The ombudsman doesn't have powers to prosecute. And neither does the individual - though as johnfás said earlier, the individual can take a civil action and can take a constitutional action.

I'm absolutely certain of where I stand here, with regard to private prosecutions. Indeed, I'll be assisting in prosecuting three gardaí in Mayo in less than two weeks hence, and it'll be a section 2 assault. This matter is for hearing and has already cleared the necessary hurdles to get there. If such a prosecution were not possible, we'd have fallen at the very first hurdle.

Kate P wrote:
It would seem to me that the correct procedures were followed.

Are you sure they weren't?

I don't think the procedure is cast in stone, afterall part of it is discretionary. As I said earlier, if a summary matter is going to be a complicated affair, it is wise to have the DPP do the job. If it's a simple matter, like this one, it's not necessary to involve the DPP. If this were a matter being investigated by the gardaí, I'd be extremely surprised if the DPP did the prosecution. Provided of course that it was considered to be a section 2, as opposed to a section 3 or 4, where the involvement of the DPP would not be a discretionary matter.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:43 am

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I'm absolutely certain of where I stand here, with regard to private prosecutions. Indeed, I'll be assisting in prosecuting three gardaí in Mayo in less than two weeks hence, and it'll be a section 2 assault. This matter is for hearing and has already cleared the necessary hurdles to get there. If such a prosecution were not possible, we'd have fallen at the very first hurdle.

How does this work?

I'm going to make some calls tomorrow about the rest and see what the exact story is there as far as possible.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:52 am

Kate P wrote:
Quote :
Quote :
I'm absolutely certain of where I stand here, with regard to private prosecutions. Indeed, I'll be assisting in prosecuting three gardaí in Mayo in less than two weeks hence, and it'll be a section 2 assault. This matter is for hearing and has already cleared the necessary hurdles to get there. If such a prosecution were not possible, we'd have fallen at the very first hurdle.

How does this work?

I'm going to make some calls tomorrow about the rest and see what the exact story is there as far as possible.

It's quite a simple procedure. You get a summons for a private prosecution from the Court's service. Walk into a court sitting and tell the clerk that you wish to have the judge sign it when he's sitting. Or just wait for the clerk to ask is there any more business. Then you have the court's service process it and assign you a date for a first sitting. Then you have it served - don't forget to retain the proofs.

I've already been involved in one private prosecution of a Garda (another section 2 assault - in Dublin) that failed to score a conviction. A technicality. I wasn't being smarmy when I said that there were a few pigs ears out there with my prints on them.
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:57 am

The proofs present problems in themselves at times.

II'll see about getting one of those forms tomorrow and have a look at what's involved. I presume you have to observe all the usual formalities about the prosecution taking place in the correct district, etc?
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PostSubject: Re: Synchronized Effort Between DPP and Garda Ombudsman Results in Farce   Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:42 am

Kate P wrote:
The proofs present problems in themselves at times.

II'll see about getting one of those forms tomorrow and have a look at what's involved. I presume you have to observe all the usual formalities about the prosecution taking place in the correct district, etc?

It's quite acceptable to register post it and to keep those proofs. You could deliver it by hand, but that's harder to prove and it also wanders into muddy waters, in that the common paid informant is not allowed to personally serve the person he's prosecuting. Of course the distinction can be made that the private prosecutor is a common unpaid informant and there's no legislation that prevents personal service.

Yup, you're correct there, you must prosecute in the appropriate district, though any judge may sign your summons.
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