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Convening Authority v. Private Doyle
Ireland Courts-Martial Appeal Court
2 ILRM 213 (1996)
Private William Doyle (defendant) was a member of the Irish military (plaintiff). Doyle was addicted to alcohol and left the military without authorization, i.e., deserted. Doyle then worked at various other jobs, including serving in the French Foreign Legion for five years. After 12 years, Doyle had his alcohol addiction under control and sought to return to the military. The military charged Doyle with desertion. At Doyle’s trial, the prosecution relied on a rebuttable statutory presumption that anyone who had been absent from the military for more than six months presumably intended to remain absent permanently. Doyle testified that the presumption was inaccurate and that he had never intended to remain away from the military permanently. Doyle was convicted and discharged from the military as his punishment. Doyle appealed, arguing that the rebuttable presumption that he was guilty violated his right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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