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03/11/2021 12:00:00 AM


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Criminal Procedure Bill 2021

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Report and Final Stages

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Criminal Procedure Bill 2021\Report and Final Stages
Bills\Criminal Procedure Bill 2021\Report and Final Stages

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Criminal Procedure Bill 2021

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Report and Final Stages

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Deputy Brendan Howlin

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Brendan Howlin

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Snippet Contents:

I always listen carefully to Deputy Carroll MacNeill because she has great legal experience to bring to our debates, but it is a fact that we as an Oireachtas do not have a real focus on legislation once it has been enacted. We are the legislators; it is not somebody else's job. The statute law revision programme, which she referred to, was an ad hoc process I instituted at the request of the now Mr. Justice Humphreys. It was done on an ad hoc basis with the co-operation of the then Attorney General to get rid of swathes of defunct law, but it should be a normal process embedded in our systems.
I know from the most recent Private Member's Bill I introduced, which thankfully has become law, that although one might present matters in simple language that is readable to most people, when it goes to Government it is put into legalese that is much more impenetrable. We need to reform that. The Minister and I have had this discussion. Law should be readable by everyone, not only by an elite corps of lawyers. All the issues that have been raised during this debate are important to ensure that we make law accessible, readable, understandable and relevant. Defunct law should be repealed and taken off the Statute Book, and the process of how laws are enacted should be reviewed to ensure they remain pertinent to the current time and do what was intended by the Oireachtas. The amendment will do no damage to the Bill by having it be reviewed in three years' time.