due process, trial process, criminal law, evidence
This article examines the right to a fair trial in historic child sexual abuse cases. The first part examines the decisions in Irish Superior Courts relating to prohibition applications in historic child sexual abuse. The second part of the article examines the decisions of the Court of Criminal Appeal in appeals brought by persons convicted on historic charges of child sexual abuse. It is argued that in light of the risks of an unfair trial in historic sexual abuse prosecutions, guidance from the appellate courts on directions and warnings to the jury and on rulings in evidential matters arising from the delay are urgently needed, in order to safeguard accused persons’ due process rights.