Threats to the Presumption of Innocence in Irish Criminal Law: An Assessment

Claire Hamilton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The existence of four contemporary threats to the presumption of innocence in England and Wales has recently been posited by Ashworth. In his examination of legislation and case law impacting on the presumption, he concludes ‘generally recognised as a fundamental right it may be, but its precise significance for the defendant is so contingent as to raise doubts’. In an Irish context, Hamilton too has written of the ‘growing insignificance of the presumption of innocence for accused persons’ such that ‘[its] tangible benefits [appear] little in evidence’ in our criminal justice system. In light of these rather depressing diagnoses, the aim of this paper is to attempt to take stock of the law in the Republic of Ireland impacting upon the presumption of innocence as well as to search for some possible explanations for recent developments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)181
    Number of pages206
    JournalInternational Journal of Evidence and Proof
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Presumption of innocence; fundamental rights; erosion


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