Should search warrants identify the specific offence suspected?

25-07-2016

Author: Joanelle O’Cleirigh, Greg Glynn and Jillian Conefrey



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.

Read the full briefing here.

 

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