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New laws for search warrants after court finds them unconstitutional

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said that new law for search warrants is a priority for government after the Supreme Court ruled the existing law was unconstitutional.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE GOVERNMENT HAS approved legislation giving new search powers to Gardaí following a Supreme Court ruling which found previous search warrants were unconstitutional.

Minister Shatter said this afternoon that the new legislation was a priority for the government.

The Supreme Court had ruled earlier this month that searches could no longer be carried out under Section 29 of the Offences Against the State Act.

The Supreme Court case had been taken by Ali Charaf Damache who had been detained after a garda search in relation to an alleged plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist who had depicted the prophet Mohammed.

“It is essential that the implications of the Supreme Court judgment be addressed as a priority; the Garda Síochána must be in a position to take action to safeguard the public if circumstances or urgency arise, for example relating to suspected offences involving firearms and explosives,” the Minister said.

Earlier this month the Minister had dismissed calls to repeal the Offences against the State Act in the light of the Supreme Court judgment.

The law had allowed Gardaí to issue search warrants which could then be used by other members of the force – a situation which the court rejected.

Shatter dismisses call to repeal crime laws following Supreme Court ruling >

Shatter launches stinging attack on ‘contrived’ journalism >

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