ICCL Calls on Government to Legislate for Access to a Lawyer During Interrogation
Reacting to the Supreme Court Decision in the case of DPP v Doyle, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) once again called on the Government and Oireachtas to address as a matter of urgency the issue of access to a lawyer during garda custody and questioning.
The Doyle case was concerned with the right of access to a lawyer during questioning. While the Supreme Court found that the accused person’s right of access to a lawyer was effectively vindicated in the case of DPP V Doyle, ICCL believes that more general human rights issues remain outstanding.
Speaking today, ICCL Executive Director Liam Herrick said
“Today’s decision in the Doyle case once again draws attention to the continuing failure of the Irish Government and the Oireachtas to put in place effective regulations on the rights of accused persons to access legal advice and to access a solicitor while being questioned. In its judgment today the Supreme Court refers to earlier cases from 2014 where the Court had previously highlighted the need for regulation with respect to access to a lawyer. While the various criminal justice agencies and the courts are dealing with this issue on an ongoing basis, it is now incumbent on the Government to ensure clarity and legal certainty in this area.”
ICCL highlighted the need for legislation at the time of the 2014 decisions and the Government has still not addressed this matter.
“As ICCL identified in 2014, there is a clear path for the Government to follow in putting place a strong legal framework in this area. An EU Directive has been developed to address the full range of legal issues relating to the rights of access to a lawyer, which would fully respect the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. To date, Ireland has chosen not to incorporate this Directive into law, despite playing a key role in the drafting of the Directive. Today’s judgment provides a further opportunity for the Government to address this important area of law and to bring Irish law into line with our European partners.”
Note to editor
See ICCL Press Release from 2014