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Home > Criminal Justice (Search Warrants) Bill 2012: second stage.

[Oireachtas] Criminal Justice (Search Warrants) Bill 2012: second stage. (19 Jun 2012)

URL: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/debates%20a...


Bill entitled an Act to amend the provisions of the Offences against the State Act 1939, the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 and the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996 relating to the issue of search warrants; and to provide for related matters.

 
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): I am pleased to present the Criminal Justice (Search Warrants) Bill 2012 to the House. This is a short Bill, but an important one. As its Title suggests, it concerns search warrants, an essential tool in the effective investigation of crime. The primary purpose of the Bill is to restore, in updated form, the search warrant provision in section 29 of the Offences against the State Act 1939, which was found to be repugnant to the Constitution by the Supreme Court……..
 
 
I conclude my remarks on section 1 by noting that its contents represent a very careful consideration of the Supreme Court judgment in consultation with the Attorney General. I am satisfied that the new procedures incorporate the fundamental principle of an impartial decision maker as required by the Constitution.
Members will have noted that sections 2 and 3 of the Bill concern search warrant provisions in suspected drug offences. As I mentioned earlier, a small number of other statutory provisions allow for Garda issued warrants, generally in circumstances of urgency. One important such provision is that contained in section 8 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996 which permits a member not below the rank of superintendent to issue a warrant under section 26 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977. Certain conditions must be met, including that circumstances of urgency requiring the immediate issue of a warrant arise such that it would be impracticable to apply to a District Court judge or a peace commissioner. The purpose of the amendments to the 1996 Act contained in section 3 of the Bill is to apply two further safeguards to the issuing of such warrants, first, to require the senior officer who issues a warrant to be independent of the investigation and, second, to require the issuing officer to record the grounds on which he or she issued the warrant. These amendments will bring Garda issued warrants under section 26 of the 1977 into line with those issued under the replacement for section 29. Section 2 makes a minor consequential change to section 26 of the 1977 Act……
 
{For the entire debate click on the link above]
 
Criminal Justice (Search Warrants) Bill 2012: Second Stage
Seanad Éireann Debate Vol. 216 No. 1
Tuesday, 19 June 2012

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