Law Report: 28 January 1998: No inquiry into conduct amounting to offence

When deciding, on an application to deliver up a person to the Irish authorities under the Backing of Warrants (Republic of Ireland) Act 1965, whether the offence specified in the Irish warrant corresponds with an English offence, a magistrate does not have to inquire into the conduct alleged to amount to the offence.

Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Gilligan; Queen's Bench Divisional Court (Lord Justice May and Mr Justice Astill) 12 January 1998

The Divisional Court dismissed the application of John Joseph Gilligan for a writ of habeas corpus following the decision of a metropolitan stipendiary magistrate that he be delivered up and returned to Ireland pursuant to section 2 of the Backing of Warrants (Republic of Ireland) Act 1965.

The applicant was arrested at Heathrow Airport attempting to board a flight to Amsterdam, and was charged with offences contrary to the Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1994. He was committed for trial. In the meantime the Special Criminal Court in Dublin granted 18 arrest warrants against him, charging him with the murder of Veronica Guerin, and with drugs and firearms offences.

Proceedings were taken for the warrants to be executed in England for the return of the applicant to Ireland. The English trial was adjourned. On 28 October 1997 the applicant was ordered to be delivered up under section 2 of the Backing of Warrants (Republic of Ireland) Act 1965, and on 11 November he applied for a writ of habeas corpus.

Clare Montgomery QC and James Lewis (Stokoe Partnership) for the applicant; Nigel Peters QC and Sean Collery (Crown Prosecution Service) for the Government of Ireland and (Solicitor, HM Customs and Excise) for HM Customs and Excise.

Lord Justice May said that it was submitted on behalf of the applicant, inter alia, that there was insufficient material before the magistrate to enable him to conclude that the offences specified in the Irish warrants corresponded with English offences.

Section 1 of the Backing of Warrants (Republic of Ireland) Act 1965 provided for the endorsement by a justice of the peace in the United Kingdom of "a warrant . . . issued by a judicial authority in the Republic of Ireland . . . for the arrest of a person accused or convicted of an offence against the laws of the Republic, being an indictable offence . . ." Section 2(2) provided that an order delivering up such a person to the Irish authorities should not be made if it appeared to the court that the offence specified in the warrant did not correspond with any offence under the law of the United Kingdom which was an indictable offence.

The submission for the applicant was that "offence" in section 2(2) of the Act should be construed to mean the conduct which was alleged to amount to the offence specified in the warrant. However, the meaning of the expression "the offence specified in the warrant" was quite clear. It meant quite simply that the court had to read the warrant to find the offence specified. No other material was admissible.

The offence specified in the warrant had to "correspond with any offence under [English] law . . . which is indictable or is punishable on summary conviction with imprisonment for six months". The word "any" showed that the court was not necessarily looking for an English offence which was identical with the offence specified in the warrant, but that the offence specified in the warrant had to be a sufficiently serious Irish offence, and would also amount to some sufficiently serious English offence. That view was supported by R v Metropolitan Police Commissioner, ex p Arkins [1066] 1 WLR 1593.

Of the 18 warrants in the present case, only two specified offences which did not correspond with English offences. The decision to deliver up the applicant on those two warrants should be quashed, but otherwise the application for a writ of habeas corpus failed.

- Kate O'Hanlon, Barrister

Arts and Entertainment
TV Review: Sabotage, a meltdown and, of course, plenty of sauce
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100'Geography can be tough'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Louis van Gaal looks dejected after Manchester United's 4-0 defeat by MK Dons on Tuesday night
sport
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Primary Teaching Supply

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher re...

KS1 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Supply Teacher re...

Primary Teacher

£90 - £145 per day + travel expenses: Randstad Education Newcastle: Year 3 Tea...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?