Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Eimear Spain
Irish Criminal Law Journal
Duress and Necessity in Ireland: Reform on the Horizon
Optional Fields
Criminal Law, Defences
This article examines the Consultation Paper on the defences of duress and necessity launched recently by the Irish Law Reform Commission, as part of an ongoing review of defences available under the criminal law in Ireland. That reform is essential is beyond doubt, necessitated by the vague and uncertain nature of the law relating to the defences of duress and necessity, both in this jurisdiction and beyond. Necessity and duress of circumstances have been described in a recent House of Lords case as “vexed and uncertain territory”. Duress has suffered a similar fate and this has been attributed to “many years of neglect” resulting in “the defence of coercion or duress.. not [being] as sharply defined as those of many other aspects of our law”. It was in this context that the Law Reform Commission undertook a review of the defences and this article critically appraises the proposals for reform of this troublesome area of law put forward by the Law Reform Commission.

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