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high court bail

High Court Bail

The right to liberty and presumption of innocence are two of the most important factors in any criminal case and vitally important for any application for bail.

Any person who comes before the court has a right to bail and it is up to the state to rebut that if they wish by objecting. There are two types of objections which the State may bring if they wish to object to bail;

  • O’Callaghan Objections

These principles derived from the  Supreme Court case of AG v O’Callaghan 1966. The objections are based on three different principals, the likelihood that someone will evade justice by not showing up to court, the likelihood property that could be used as evidence will be disposed of and interference with witnesses.

  • Section 2 Objections

They are the more serious of the two objections and were brought in by Section 2 of the Bail Act 1997. The allow the court refuse bail if it deems it necessary to prevent the commission of a serious offence while the person is on bail. The objections can be a lot more lengthy than O’Callaghan as they can take into account a person’s previous convictions as well as all matters they currently have before the court. They are usually used in more serious cases by the State.

If a person is refused bail under either objection, they may bring an application to the High Court to effectively appeal the District or Circuit Court’s decision. If they are refused in the High Court they can apply to the High Court again when there is a change of circumstances in their case. An example of this would be when their case goes forward from the District Court to the Circuit Court.

A person will never be punished for going for bail in their case. They have a right to apply for bail and the Court will always acknowledge this.

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Paddy Mc Garry, Principal, Mc Garry Law

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