Recent Supreme Court Decision On Compliance With Fair Procedures

Byrne v His Honour Judge O'Leary and Others 1

The Supreme Court recently quashed certain findings of the Ansbacher Inspector's Report, ruling that the findings in question were made in excess of the jurisdiction which had been granted to the inspectors appointed to investigate and report on illegal offshore accounts.

The findings, relating to the affairs of Ansbacher (Cayman) Limited, were made against a Mr. John Byrne. The issue before the court was that Mr Byrne's evidence had been given in the presence of only two of the four appointed inspectors. In this regard, a subsequent order of the High Court had provided that evidence given before some but not all inspectors could form the basis of findings contained in the report, provided that the 'veracity' of such evidence was not in doubt. This same order stated that where the 'veracity' of evidence was in doubt, it would be necessary to have the evidence in question given again, in the presence of all inspectors.

The report's findings against Mr Byrne entirely contradicted the evidence which he had given. Accordingly, the Supreme Court found that it could not be said that the 'veracity' of his evidence was not in doubt. From this, it was necessary to quash findings which had been based...

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