Regulators and other bodies with the power to search premises should consider identifying the specific offence suspected when applying to court for a search warrant and setting out the specific offence on the face of the warrant. While not strictly required by law, a Court of Appeal judge has said it is “certainly desirable” that search warrants identify the specific offence suspected.
This comment was made in DPP v Morgan, an appeal from a murder conviction. The appellant argued that clothing and footwear seized by the gardaí (the Irish police) during a search of his house were inadmissible as the search warrant used to carry out the search was defective. A District Court judge issued the search warrant on the basis that the gardaí reasonably suspected there was evidence relating to the commission of an ‘arrestable offence’ at the appellant’s house.