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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
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Criminal Procedure Bill 2021

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Snippet Contents:

There is a cost to the Exchequer associated with parliamentary questions as well, and they are quite onerous for Departments to answer. It is a nonsense to suggest going down that road. We have so many bodies, or quangos as I call them. We need some oversight of legislation once it has been passed and signed into law by the President - or not - and its outworkings. We should be told if parts of legislation are not enacted and given reasons for that. There must be some kind of annual report. That is a big job of work but we need oversight of legislation once it leaves the Oireachtas regarding how it is bedding in, whether it has been used and the outcomes. There are enormous challenges in this area. A year is wholly inadequate because, as I said, legislation may not be tested in the courts within a year or a case under an Act may not be heard within a year. That is a weak argument from the Minister. I know personally how a case can go on and on. There is a possibility that a court case could go on for ten years and never be heard. There have been such cases. We definitely need some sort of oversight, whether that means the legislation going back to the Joint Committee on Justice or wherever. I am not too interested in the creation of another quango, but we need some oversight of legislation once it has been enacted regarding how it is bedding in, whether there been many cases, if we have case histories and if good or bad precedents have been set. We need a review.
I return to what Deputy Howlin said about the Children Act 2001. We are amending that legislation today, some 20 years later. That is just too slow when we are dealing with crimes against children, heinous crimes, sexual crimes or any crimes for that matter. Justice delayed is justice denied. I am fearful that if this amendment is not accepted, the legislation will gather dust. Parts of it might be implemented but there may be parts that are not suited to officialdom or whatever. We are the representatives elected to make legislation and we are accountable to the people.