14th July 2020
The Irish law society has recently published the results of a survey, which questions the practices of Gardai during this pandemic. From 1 to 13 May 2020, Shalom Binchy Solicitors hosted an online survey asking colleague defence solicitors about their recent experiences of providing legal advice to suspects detained in garda stations during the initial stage of the COVID-19 public-health emergency (March to May 2020).
The findings of the survey (Experiences of Criminal Defence Solicitors in Garda Stations during COVID-19, available on the Shalom Binchey website) are based on the responses of 25 respondents nationwide.
The findings are qualitative in nature and provide a narrative snapshot of the recent experiences of criminal defence solicitors in the early days of the pandemic.
It is clear from the survey that there is no comprehensive or consistent approach being taken to protect the right to legal advice for suspects at garda stations. The panel provides a brief overview of approaches.