McDowell Responds to Law Society's Press Statement on New Criminal Justice Bill

Commenting on today's statement from the Law Society the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Michael McDowell T.D., has said he noted the statement had expressed concern about the fast pace at which he was moving to reform the criminal law.

He said "I want to assure the members of the Law Society that notwithstanding their concerns about the timeliness of this legislation, there will still be plenty of time to review any ideas or suggestions they may have about the precise wording of the necessary changes in the criminal law which are now proposed by the Government."

He went on to say that the imminence of a General Election in three or four months time would not excuse any Government from its bounden duty to keep the criminal law fully up to date in responding to evolving threats to civil society from organised crime and or any other emerging problems in law enforcement.

The Tánaiste will pay close attention to the points raised in regard to this reform of the criminal law and welcomes any proposals the Law Society may wish to offer with a view to addressing those issues.  He would however wish to remind the Society's members of the background to the new legislation, namely serious levels of gangland crime. He repeated his belief that the proposals he has announced are proportionate and reasonable.  They are clearly targeted at countering gangland crime.  He remains satisfied that the public at large recognises this and appreciates that his proposals are appropriate in the light of the events in recent months.

27 February 2007