The first prosecutions to come before the courts where individuals convicted of traffic offences had failed to produce a driving licence for the application of points have been thrown out.

21 cases came before Dublin District Court this morning.

The defendants had all previously been before the courts for offences including speeding and driving while using a mobile phone.

They were required, under the Road Traffic Acts, to produce their licences at the time of their cases, so that the penalty points awarded to them by the court could be placed on them, but they allegedly failed to do so.

The summonses were brought on foot of an order from the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Transport.

Judge Marie Keane told the court today that although a summons states that a driving licence must be brought to court, it does not state that it is a criminal offence not to do so.

She said this was fundamentally flawed and dismissed all 21 cases.

Junior Counsel Oisin Clarke, who appeared for a number of defendants, submitted to Judge Keane that the cases be dismissed on the basis that defendants were not aware of the offence and were not directed by the court to present their licences.

He said that it appeared in respect of section 22 that the court needs to make a formal demand in respect of at least a copy of it.

He said that if that has not been done, obviously the person is going to walk out of court with their licence.

Mr Clarke said it would be unfair to expect a lay person to understand the workings of the court, and particularly unfair to convict them of a separate criminal offence of which they were unaware.

He said it is very difficult, if not impossible, to conclude they have committed a criminal offence.

Elizabeth Liz Byrne, a prosecuting solicitor at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, said she accepted the non-indication on the summons in relation to presenting the licence.

Dismissing the cases, Judge Keane said the legislation was "very complex" and that she was "none the wiser" as to the nature of the legislation having heard it outlined by the legislator in the Dáil.

She said when a person comes before the court, they are entitled to know precisely what they are charged with and the outcome of any successful prosecution.

She said that while she had not heard any evidence from any individual that they were not asked to present the licence, she would rule on the balance of probabilities that it was not clear to them that they were to produce their licenses when they were before the court.