Dearbhail McDonald: Deportation fight creates quagmire for State lawyers
Courts must now grapple with human rights issues in case of accused, writes Dearbhail McDonald
Published 03/01/2016 | 02:30
Ireland is, arguably, the best small country to deal with threats to national security. In a permanent State of emergency since 1939, care of the Offences Against the State Act, successive governments have perfected a suite of 'emergency' measures that lesser democracies or aspiring dictators could only dream of.
Since 1972, we have maintained, not without controversy, a non jury Special Criminal Court. With a strong (some might say undue) record of deference towards the State as well as its historic reliance on 'opinion evidence' by senior gardai, the Special Criminal Court is - because of ongoing threats to national security by dissident republicans, amongst others - sadly still with us.
All of which makes aspects of last week's sensational legal action involving the 'foremost recruiter' in Ireland for the Islamic State (Isil) - a purported consultant to violent Isil leaders overseas - somewhat puzzling.