Alan Shatter accuses Guerin report of creating ‘kangaroo courts’

Former minister makes hard-hitting Dail statement

Alan Shatter accuses Guerin report of creating ‘kangaroo courts’

Thu, Jun 19, 2014, 16:55

Former minister for justice Alan Shatter has accused Sean Guerin SC of creating “kangaroo courts’’ in his investigation into allegations of Garda misconduct.

Mr Guerin’s report led to Mr Shatter’s resignation as minister.

The former minister said he believed most people would regard him, as the then minister for justice, as a person who could have provided relevant and material assistance. He believed, he said, that fair procedures and the principles of natural and constitutional justice required that Mr Guerin should have interviewed him or, at the very least, communicated his concerns and questions to him in writing.

This, said Mr Shatter, would have afforded him the opportunity to address them and also to address his draft conclusions which he had to know would render his continuing in office as minister untenable.

“For my own part, I never anticipated that a practicing senior counsel, as to independently consider the serious issues detailed in his terms of reference, could or would so ignore basic principles of constitutional and natural justice and fair procedures which have been repetitively pronounced upon and endorsed by our courts at the highest level,’’ he added.

“These principles are crucial to the rule of law and ignoring them places in peril a value system crucial to the wellbeing of all our citizens and all who reside in the State. To ignore them is to endorse the creation of kangaroo courts as dramatically depicted in Kafkas book The Trial.’’

Mr Shatter was speaking in the Dail this afternoon during a debate on the Cooke report into claims of unlawful surveillance of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).