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David is an experienced advocate in a broad range of legal practice areas, including criminal defence, constitutional law, immigration, judicial review, inquests and general civil litigation.
He writes and lectures extensively in the UK and Ireland and internationally.
David has extensive experience as a defence jury advocate in England and Wales and in Ireland, in murder, rape, conspiracy, blackmail, sexual assault (including very sensitive child sex cases), and armed robbery cases. Much of this work has been conducted as junior alone. David has also appeared in the draconian non-jury Special Criminal Court.
In his capacity as Director of The Irish Innocence Project, David secured the first posthumous pardon in the history of the Irish state in the Harry Gleeson case, which is well documented and reported in the press, and initiated the right to post conviction DNA testing in the Irish courts. He initiated the idea for The European Innocence Network and is emeritus director of The Irish Innocence Project. He has an extensive knowledge of this area and recently assisted in a Court of Appeal matter in England and Wales.
David has also written extensively about asset forfeiture and the proceeds of crime. He was instructed in the seminal asset forfeiture case, Gilligan v Ireland (1997). It is an area in which he is an expert and of which he is profoundly disapproving.
- R v HS (April 2019, Blackfriars Crown Court) – secured an acquittal on serious allegations of sexual assault against a thirteen-year-old boy;
- R v PA (February 2018, Isleworth Crown Court) – secured an acquittal on the basis of self-defence and proportionate force arising out of a charge of actual bodily harm in a domestic situation. In this respect David implicitly relied on such cases as Beckford (1995) and Owiko (1995), in which it was held that the defence of self-defence is to be assessed objectively in terms of the proportionality of the force used but with a subjective complement in terms of the accused’s perception of the situation, his instinctive reaction through violence or a perceived threat of same and above all with respect to the individual circumstances of the case. David also relied on Lord Sankey’s judgement in Woolmington v DPP and the concept of cognitive or confirmatory bias;
- R v CD (January 2018, Snaresbrook Crown Court) – secured an acquittal in a blackmail case relying implicitly on such cases as R v Clear (1968) and R v Astig (2015) on the ambit and definition of menaces and reasonable demands in the context of payment for drug monies owed. David addressed the jury in detail on questions of corroboration and credibility and how proof is made out or not;
- Case of BK (2019) – before the Committee of Mercy on a death penalty matter in Kenya;
- Harry Gleeson (2015) – secured the first posthumous pardon in the history of the Irish state;
- David secured an acquittal in the Old Bailey in an allegation of sexual exposure. The case involved assessments of credibility and detailed testing of the evidence of the complainant. There was no dispute as to presence or identification of the defendant (2018).
Immigration & asylum
David has represented in immigration tribunals in Ireland and the England and Wales. He has also appeared in the High Court in both jurisdictions.
David was co-counsel in a foundational extradition case in Dublin, Cosma v Ireland (2001), and has recently secured several good results in extradition matters before the Westminster Magistrates Court.
He advises on immigration matters on a direct access basis.
- R v Martins (April 2019) – David succeeded in resisting the extradition of a Portuguese national under the European Arrest Warrant procedure, on the basis that extradition would be contrary to Article 8;
- Zheng Wu v Ireland (2001, High Court of Ireland) – immigration case involving illegality and errors on the face of the record;
- Cosma v Ireland (2005) – leading immigration case on the right to life and administrative unreasonableness with respect to deportation proceedings.
Public law & judicial review
David has been an anti-state constitutional lawyer in Ireland for over a decade. He lectured in constitutional law at The Kings Inns for over 16 years and has published extensively in the field. He acted in the constitutional challenge to the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996 and in Cosma v Ireland (2006), which addressed the right to life and extradition proceedings. In 2016, he represented a political party, The Anti Austerity Alliance, in a challenge to the prohibition on the collection of money for election purposes based on principles such as freedom of speech and freedom of association. David has appeared in many administrative law and judicial review cases – some reported – including those related to asylum and mental health matters.
In addition, he publishes extensively in referred and non-referred journals and in magazines on such issues. Most recently, he published an article on freedom of speech rights in the May 2019 edition of Cassandra Voices.
- Gilligan v Ireland (1997, High Court of Ireland) – constitutional challenge to the Irish Proceeds of Crime Act 1996;
- Represented The Anti Austerity Alliance in a constitutional challenge with respect to a government ban on the collection of money before an election.
International human rights
David lectured on human rights and social and economic rights for many years at Griffith College Dublin, where he was Dean of the Law Faculty. He has represented before the Committee of Mercy in Kenya and advised on war crimes issues. In addition, he has published extensively on international human rights issues.
Banking and debt restructuring
David has handled many matters in the last few years against banks in Ireland, including Miller v Danske Bank (2015) in the Irish Court of Appeal, which was reported and received national and international attention. He conducted this case against two senior counsel and two junior counsel.
David also provides extensive advisory work in this area and is direct access qualified in England and Wales. He has written many articles on this issue.
Tribunals and inquiries
David acted in the major whistleblowing inquiry into the 2015 banking crisis in Ireland, which took place ‘in camera’ .
In March of 2017, also in Ireland, he handled a major coroners’ court inquest into the Sinead Maguire case. He is regularly instructed in other major inquiries.
Employment law and whistleblowing law
David studied employment law at LSE and Harvard. He has appeared in industrial tribunals and employment appeals tribunals in Ireland and in England and Wales. He has also lectured on employment law and currently teaches dismissal law and whistleblowing law at Middlesex University.
David co-designed the civil practice course at the Kings Inns and lectured on it for five years, as well as being the marker and setter of the civil advocacy exam. He has practised in all aspects of civil litigation including very extensive libel work. He is presently advising the Moldovan opposition party.
David trained at 4 Essex Court Chambers, the leading arbitration set in London, and has handled shipping arbitrations.
David has lectured on this subject for over ten years and has written a textbook on copyright law nationally and internationally. He has given talks all over the world on the subject. David has advised musicians and artists and has several major reported cases including Doyle v EMI. He appears in many ‘in camera’ applications for Anton Piller orders. David is currently instructed in a copyright infringement action against the BBC on a direct access basis.
Injunctions and interlocutory relief
David appeared against two QCs in an application for a worldwide Mareva injunction for seven days in the High Court. He has extensive experience of all types of injunctive and interlocutory relief work.
- O’ Connell v Daxer Pietsch (1995) – seven day hearing of an application for a Mareva injunction, heard in camera. Commercial shipping arbitration on case of Captain Haalnd;
- Miller v Danske Bank (2015, Court of Appeal in Ireland) – leading banking case on contractual obligations, administrative law and the role of the banking ombudsman;
- Lead counsel representing a whistleblower in the inquiry examining the circumstances of the banking collapse in Ireland in 2007;
- Represented Ireland Anti Austerity Alliance in a constitutional challenge with respect to a government ban on the collection of money prior to an election;
- Represented in the leading case preventing mass evictions in the Tyrellstown estate in Dublin;
- Acted in the Coroners’ Court inquest in the case of Sinead Maguire.
- Henry Hunter Hamilton Memorial Prize for History Trinity College Dublin;
- Kingsmill Moore Memorial Prize for Law Trinity College Dublin;
- Fellowship to Harvard Law School.
- Irish Lawyer of The Year in The Irish Law Awards 2015.
Publications and seminars
Regular contributor to Irish publications, Village Magazine and Cassandra Voices, on a wide range of topics including whistleblowing law, freedom of speech, democracy, extradition and human rights, the Irish Constitution, and biographies including Geoffrey Robertson QC.
David has also written op-ed and opinion pieces for the Irish newspapers and has been featured in the Chronicle of Further Education in the US for his achievements.
2015 – ‘The common vocabulary of innocence’, in ‘Protecting the innocent across Europe and America’ (ed. Professor Luca Lipuria Kluwer).
2013 – ‘The Irish Innocence Project and principles of Irish due process’, University of Cincinnati Law Review. A refereed publication.
2013 – ‘Copyright law and the internet after Saba’, Journal of Irish Business Law. A refereed publication.
2012 – ‘Miscarriages of justice in Ireland: a survey of the jurisprudence’, 212 Irish Journal of Legal Studies. A refereed publication.
2009 – ‘The restrictive doctrine of administrative unreasonableness’, Irish Law Review.
2008 – Essay in Carolan and Doyle (ed), ‘The Irish Constitution: governance and values.’ Dublin: Thomson Round Hall.
2008 – ‘Judicial deference, separation of powers and the failure to vindicate the rights of the individual’. This book was published to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Constitution of Ireland and is a series of essays from leading practitioners and academics. This is a referred publication.
2008 – ‘The incoherence of historicism in Irish Constitutional interpretation’, The Bar Review (November 2008) Pages 109-114. A longer version was also published in Independent Law Review (2008) 17-24. The Bar Review of The Irish Bar is a referred publication.
2007 – ‘The scope of patent infringement in Irish law after Ranbaxy’, Irish Business Law Quarterly. A refereed publication.
2007 – ‘The availability of the parody defence to copyright infringement in Irish law’, Irish Business Law Quarterly. A refereed publication.
2007 – ‘Originality in copyright law after Feist and CCH Canadian’, Irish Business Law Quarterly. A refereed publication.
TV and radio
David regularly appears on Irish television and radio on such issues as human rights law, criminal justice, the rule of law and constitutionalism, innocence project work and miscarriages of justice, copyright and other intellectual property. He has also appeared on television and radio in the United Kingdom, Greece and Kenya.
David has given papers in the US, Italy, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
For over a decade David lectured on constitutional law, administrative law, judicial review and jurisprudence at The Honourable Society of The Kings Inns and was the convenor of mirroring activity as well as the corrector of the civil advocacy exam. David co-designed the civil practice course in Ireland, modelled on the Council of Legal Education model in the UK. David was also dean of Griffith College Law Faculty and a visiting professor in law and international relations in The Anglo-American University in Prague.
- Gaelic – working knowledge
- French – working knowledge