Ireland Law Reform Commission Consultation Paper on Search Warrants
The people at the Law Reform Commission of Ireland have been very busy little beavers in the past few days.
Last week, they published a consultation paper on electronic evidence. Then they brought out a report on criminal defences (self-defence, provocation, duress).
Yesterday, boom, another consultation paper, this time on search warrants and bench warrants.
The report points out that over 100 separate Acts and almost 200 Ministerial Regulations authorize the Irish police to apply to the District Court for search warrants. Many of these contain different rules about applying for, issuing and executing search warrants.
The Commission provisionally recommends these different pieces of legislation be replaced by a single generally-applicable framework Search Warrants Act, with standard rules on applying for, issuing and executing them.
The consultation document also looks at electronic applications for warrants, the need for greater consistency in time limits for the execution of warrants, the use of reasonable force in their execution, the seizure of material not explicitly referred to in a warrant, and legal professional privilege relating to material found under any search warrant.
The Commission takes a look at the situation in other jurisdictions, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.