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Module code: LW420
Credits: 10
Semester: 2
International: Yes
Overview Overview

This module aims to provide a general introduction to the Offences Against the State regime in Ireland and the jurisprudence relating to the Special Criminal Court. Students will consider the special legislative measures taken by the State in dealing with subversive activity (such as the creation of certain offences and unique evidential shortcuts) as well as the challenges taken to these measures. The module will examine the relevant Garda investigative powers as well as the question of disclosure and privilege in trials for subversive activity, the Witness Protection Programme and the trial of organised crime before the Special Criminal Court.

Module Content:

1. Subversive activity in Ireland during the 20th Century and the response of the Irish Government;
2. Legislative structures intended to counteract subversive activity;
3. Introduction to Special Criminal Court procedure;
4. Challenges to the Special Criminal Court regime under the Constitution and Convention;
5. The offence of membership of an unlawful organisation and related offences against the State.
6. Special evidential provisions for membership trials (incl. belief evidence and adverse inferences);
7. Investigative powers under the Offences Against the State regime arrest, detention and search (incl. adverse inferences from silence, right to pre-trial legal advice)
8. Garda powers of surveillance, intelligence operations and communications interception; the implications for the right to privacy; special measures where surveillance officers give evidence during a trial;
9. Disclosure and privilege in trials for subversive offences (incl. public interest privilege, informer privilege and the implications for the right to a fair trial)
10. Informers and the Witness Protection Programme in Ireland; Accomplice evidence;
11. Trying organised crime in special courts;
12. The future of the Special Criminal Court; critical analysis of the regime.

Open Learning Outcomes
Open Teaching & Learning methods
Open Assessment
Open Autumn Supplementals/Resits
Open Timetable
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