Sunday 11 December 2016

Key opinions of legal heavyweight

Published 08/03/2016 | 02:30

Frank Shortt
Frank Shortt
Mr Justice Hardiman was one of the judges on the court who ruled in 2009 that Portmarnock Golf Club was not in breach of the Equal Status Act by excluding women from membership

The Frank Shortt case - Mr Justice Hardiman was part of the five-judge Supreme Court which in 2006 more than doubled to €4.7m the damages paid to the wrongfully convicted Donegal publican, against whom evidence was concocted by two gardaí.

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Mr Shortt spent 27 months in jail before being freed. An apology was issued by the State after Mr Justice Hardiman observed it was "extraordinary" he had not received one despite being the victim of "the worst-known oppression of a citizen by the State".

The Lobe case

Mr Justice Hardiman was part of the court which ruled in 2003 that the State was entitled to deport illegal immigrants even if they were the parents of Irish-born children.

The Bailey brothers case

Mr Justice Hardiman was excoriating in his views of the tribunals. In a 2011 opinion, he said their powers were "truly awesome", their expense "enormous", the cost of participating in them "grotesque", and their duration "appalling". The remarks came when the court rejected efforts by the Director of Corporate Enforcement to rely on aspects of planning tribunal reports in seeking orders against developers Michael and Thomas Bailey.

The Gormley case

He was part of the court which overturned a conviction for attempted rape after it ruled statements made to gardaí during questioning were inadmissible because they were made before the suspect got legal advice. He questioned the practice of dawn arrests, which sometimes meant a solicitor was not available.

Portmarnock Golf Club case

Mr Justice Hardiman was one of the judges on the court who ruled in 2009 that Portmarnock Golf Club was not in breach of the Equal Status Act by excluding women from membership. The ruling was made by a three-two majority. The decision upheld an earlier High Court ruling that the club was exempted under a section of the Act relating to clubs catering for the needs of people of one gender.

The JC case

Mr Justice Hardiman was a dissenting voice when the court ruled by a four-three margin to remove a bar on the use of evidence obtained in breach of a person's constitutional rights. The case involved a man who was tried on evidence gathered with a defective warrant. The man was acquitted at the direction of a judge, but the DPP sought a retrial. Mr Justice Hardiman said he was "gravely apprehensive" about the ruling.

Irish Independent

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