Prohibition applications relating to historic child abuse charges are a litmus test of the courts' commitment to upholding fairness to the accused. This article argues that the prohibition case law reveals two trends: one in which fairness is being marginalised; and another in which it is given a contextualised meaning. The article argues that the latter approach represents an attempt to re-imagine fairness to the accused in prohibition applications. Analysing fairness in context is shown to be a continuation of a tradition in Irish constitutional jurisprudence of understanding fairness to the accused as both fundamental and evolving. Published in (2013) Irish Criminal Law Journal 132-140.