NO PLACE FOR SPECIAL COURTS IN JUSTICE SYSTEM
The Celtic League has expressed concern to the Department of Justice in Ireland about the continuation of non jury Special Criminal Courts.
The `Special Courts’ have their origin in Offences Against the State legislation introduced over 70 years ago. The continuation of this flawed justice system has been the subject of periodic criticism by the United Nations, Amnesty International and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.
The Celtic League adopted a resolution opposing the continued operation of the Special Courts at its AGM in Dublin in 2003 (see link below):
The text of the recent communication to Minister Ahern is set out below:
“Mr Dermot Ahern TD
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law reform
Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform
94 St. Stephen’s Green
Can you indicate if the Irish government has given any thought to responding to repeated concerns articulated by both the United Nations and Human Rights NGOs about the continuing operation in Ireland of Special Criminal Courts.
Given the pace of politial change in recent years and bearing in mind the continuing strengthening of political processes for conflict resolution which the Irish government has played its part in, surely the retention of `Special Courts’ is incompatible with current realities.
I refer you to the most recent report on Ireland by the United Nations Human Rights Committee which, in its concluding observations, said:
“The Committee reiterates its concerns about the continuing operation of the Special Criminal Court and the establishment of additional special courts. (arts. 4, 9, 14, 26)
The State party should carefully monitor, on an ongoing basis, whether the exigencies of the situation in Ireland continue to justify the continuation of a Special Criminal
Court with a view to abolishing it. In particular, it should ensure that, for each case that is certified by the Director of Public Prosecutions for Ireland as requiring a non jury trial, objective and reasonable grounds are provided and that there is a right to challenge these grounds.”
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Related links on Celtic News here:
Link to info about Courts at:
There is also a (less than illuminating) link to official info about the Court here: