15th November 2019

In another wide and varied show which can be listened to on our site, the observation on the recent decision in the High Court on fix charge penalty Notices, may strike a chord with some listeners.

Following the decision of Ms. Justice Úna Ní Raifeartaith on the 8th October in the High Court in Dublin when she delivered a written judgement to the effect that Section 44.10 of the Road Traffic Act 2016 which came into effect on June 2017 is unconstitutional shall have consequences for upwards of 25,000.00 traffic prosecutions currently pending before the courts.

The amendment, as introduced, removed the Defence that was hitherto common, that a fixed charge Penalty Notice had not been received by the recipient. In her ruling, Ms. Justice Ní Raifeartaith held that this Section impinged on the Constitutional rights of an individual to a fair trial.

It seems that a further amendment shall be required to the legislation to allow the presiding District Court Judge to exercise a discretion to accept that the fixed charge Notice had not been received. It may be necessary to remedy the situation further, a view which we have held for some time that fixed charge penalty notices should be served by prepaid registered post and that the benefits of proceeding in this manner would far outweigh the extra costs of such service as on the face of it there would be proof positive that the fixed charge penalty notice was not only posted but received. This matter may likely be revisited in the coming months.

Listen to the full interview below.

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