Sexual Offences in Ireland: Practice and Procedure

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Laura Byrne

ISBN13: 9781526527004
To be Published: 04/25
Format: Paperback


A necessity if you are a criminal law practitioner, this title provides an in-depth analysis of the key evidential and procedural issues in the investigation, prosecution and trial of sexual offences.

Key Features and Highlights:

Provides a practical structure for practitioners navigating the law of sexual offences
Up to now, practitioners had to look at various legal texts that deal with criminal procedure and evidence and then had to research up-to-date case law. This book provides all of that in one place
Authors are experienced in criminal law. Patrick J Reynolds BL is a prosecuting counsel in Mayo and has wide experience in prosecuting and defending sexual offences trials in the Central Criminal Court and Circuit Court and has invaluable practical experience on the developments in the area of trial procedure, the role of victims and special measures for vulnerable witnesses

This title provides an in-depth analysis and guidance to the key evidential and procedural issues at all stages of an investigation, prosecution and trial of sexual offences. It also considers sentencing principles and the various ancillary orders applicable to those convicted of certain sexual offences.
Sexual Offences: Practice and Procedure will assist you greatly if you are engaged in a criminal trial dealing with a sexual offence in relation to all aspects of the prosecution. It will be very useful if you are a practitioner trying to make legal argument at trial or in appeals against conviction or sentence. With detailed guidance on procedural aspects of sexual offences trials, it is a must-have title for preparing your defence and advising your client.

It covers:

DPP v FE [2019] IESC 85 (sentencing guidelines/ranges for rape)
DPP v FN [2022] IESC 22 (Supreme Court on the question of indecency in relation to sexual assault)
CW v DPP [2022] IEHC 336 (regarding reasonable mistake defence for defilement offences)
Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 - Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017 - Criminal Procedure Act 2021 and the Children (Amendment) Act 2021


1. Introduction- Legislative History/Overview
Preliminary Stages of Investigation and Prosecution
2. Investigation - Vulnerable Complainants - Children and Persons with Mental Disorders, Garda Interviews etc.
Section 15 of the 2017 Act­ assessments by members of An Garda Síochána about need for special requirements­ linked to Ground Rules hearings
Decision to Prosecute and Role of the Victim if Prosecution not Directed
3. Practice and Procedure where Accused is a Minor
4. Judicial Review proceedings and Sexual Offences / Prohibition of trial on the grounds of delay - when is judicial review an appropriate option as opposed to trial court / bars to a fair trial.
5. Disclosure - including counselling records
6. Preliminary Hearings
Ground Rule Hearings, Pre-Trial Hearings under 2021 Act
Accommodations for Witnesses - Intermediaries, Video Link, Interpreters
Trial of Offences
7. Reporting Restrictions and Restrictions on the Public Attending Court
8. Drafting the Indictment - Joining co-accused, sample counts and joining more than one complainant -
Applications to sever the indictment/ for separate trials
Similar fact evidence DPP v Clement Limens (2020 Supreme Court)
9. Cross examination of complainant and previous sexual history
Recent legislative developments and case law
Right to separate legal representation
10. Corroboration
11. Rule Against Hearsay and relevant exceptions, including Doctrine of Recent Complaint / previous statements
12. Misconduct Evidence of the Accused/ Character Evidence
13. Applications at Close of Prosecution Case
Amending the Indictment
Application for Directions
Galbraith, bars to a fair trial - delay/ adverse publicity
14. Judge’s Charge
Corroboration warning


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