Law School Staff Cited in Supreme Court Decision

Apr 11 2019 Posted: 13:02 IST
In early March 2019, the Supreme Court held a historic sitting in NUI Galway, but a major judgment delivered by the Supreme Court today (11 April 2019) involved, in a sense, the Law School at  NUI Galway going to the Supreme Court. In the case in question, People (DPP) v Mahon the Court dealt with two important matters. The first was the manner in which a trial judge should interpret a jury verdict when there is some ambiguity as to the basis in which it was reached, a problem that can sometimes arise where a person charged with murder is convicted of manslaughter. The second dealt with principles and guidelines for the sentencing of manslaughter. This was the first time the Supreme Court had issued sentencing guidelines for any offence, and it involved a departure from a decision the Court had reached in 1988 that it would inappropriate to give sentencing guidance of this nature.  Among the sources on which the Court drew when setting out the guidelines was an article by Dr Diarmuid Griffin published in the Irish Jurist in 2015 on the release and recall of life prisoners. That was not the only NUI Galway connection. The appeal was argued by Tom O'Malley of the School of Law who acted as lead counsel for the State (with Anne Marie Lawlor SC and Gareth Baker BL).


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