Material found on Garda’s phone during criminal search could not be used in disciplinary proceedings

By: Mark Tottenham BL

or click here to request site subscription to search and view all judgments

Supreme Court allows appeal from High Court, and determines that the Commissioner of An Garda Siochana was not entitled to use in disciplinary proceedings material found on the phone of a member of the force pursuant to a search warrant in criminal proceedings, on the grounds that: (a) the relevant legislation confined the use of such material to criminal proceedings and prison discipline; and (b) the court was not 'at large' to apply common law principles with their public interest exceptions.

Judicial review - An Garda Siochana - material used in disciplinary proceedings - material found on member's phone - search warrant issued in criminal proceedings - member of 'WhatsApp' group - sharing of humorous material - message sent to group - allegedly forwarded without viewing - material of unlawful nature - search warrant - s. 7 of the Child Trafficking Pornography Act, 1998 - suspension from duty - search of home - decision of DPP not to prosecute - disciplinary process - application to restrain use in disciplinary proceedings of material obtain in criminal search - applicant never shown search warrant - far-reaching nature of searches of digital devices - whether Commissioner entitled to use material for purpose other than criminal prosecution.

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.

The only fast reporting service for all Irish judgments over the past ten years. Click here to request a subscription.

Register Now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *