Criminal Law in Ireland


The aim of Criminal Law in Ireland is to make available to practitioners a comprehensive and up to date treatment of the criminal law that applies in the State. It is hoped that it will be “a practically useful book” to academics, students of the law, the Garda Síochána, and all who may use it.


    The fourth edition of Criminal Law in Ireland has been substantially rewritten, and the text re-arranged. As wide an expanse as possible of the criminal law in a single volume has been sought. The emphasis in the text is to lay down the actual terms of statutes as amended to date rather than an abbreviation of such. Many older statutes which are not easily obtainable are included. A greater amount of detail in respect of many cases is included.


The use of Paragraph numbers should facilitate the use of the various Tables; which included a Table of Penalties and Tables of Detention and Custody. In addition there is reference throughout to proposals for law reform and to legislative provisions in other common law jurisdictions.


    An amount of criminal procedure was included in previous editions and this is also the case in this edition. It is not the intention that Criminal Law in Ireland should be a work on criminal procedure, but an understanding of the criminal law requires reference to that part of the criminal justice system. The great number of changes in recent years has impacted on criminal procedure and it is useful to be able to refer to the updated provisions within the text.


    A Chapter on Europe and the Criminal law” has been included. Neither criminal law nor the rules of criminal procedure are meant to fall within the competence of the European Community. However it is clear that from a European Union perspective that harmonisation measures, will establish minimum rules with regard to the definition of many criminal offences and of penalties. The proposals in the Reform Treaty on the approximation of criminal laws are included. The proposed Twenty Eight Amendment to the Constitution is also included.


In the second edition a Chapter on “Offences concerning children” was introduced, this has been broadened in the fourth edition to a Chapter on “Children and the Criminal Law”, which includes criminal responsibility as well as offences. A new Chapter is “International Criminal Law”, which reflects the establishment of the International Criminal Court. There are also new Chapters on “Misuse of Computers” and “Criminal Organisations”.


    Reference is included to the many Bills currently before the Oireachtas, the most recent being the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Bill 2009. In addition the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 and the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009 are included.





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