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Self-Service Search Warrants and International Terrorism: Lessons from Damache v. DPP

Paul MacMahon

Harvard Law School

December 1, 2012

Irish Law Journal, Vol. 1, p. 2, 2012

In February 2012, the Supreme Court of Ireland invalidated a long-standing statutory provision that allowed the police to "help themselves" to search warrants in terrorism cases. Though the case has far-reaching practical consequences and theoretical implications, the Supreme Court’s written decision was relatively spare. The aim of this comment is to deepen the discussion. To that end, I examine the purposes of search warrant requirements as part of a legal regime for protecting privacy against government intrusion. I also discuss the judicial power to reject counterterrorism measures approved by the elected branches of government. Finally, I connect the Supreme Court’s decision to fundamental and recurring questions about the Irish judiciary’s level of trust in law enforcement authorities.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 25

Keywords: criminal procedure, search warrants, counterterrorism, Ireland, comparative criminal law

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Date posted: January 27, 2013  

Suggested Citation

MacMahon, Paul, Self-Service Search Warrants and International Terrorism: Lessons from Damache v. DPP (December 1, 2012). Irish Law Journal, Vol. 1, p. 2, 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2207187

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Paul MacMahon (Contact Author)
Harvard Law School ( email )
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