Special Criminal Court needs to be closed down not expanded
Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has said, "The Special Criminal Court needs to be closed down and not expanded." Deputy Ó Snodaigh was reacting to news today that Justice Minister Michael McDowell plans to establish a second Special Criminal Court.
Speaking this afternoon the Dublin South Central TD said, "The Special Criminal Court is founded on draconian "emergency" legislation, which is wide open to abuse and which fundamentally undermines a persons civil rights.
"Everybody should be entitled to a fair trial. However, the Special Criminal Court does not provide that, especially when a person can be convicted on the word of a Garda or on undisclosed or secret evidence. The Special Criminal Court and the way it works makes a mockery of the whole notion of justice, just as the Diplock Courts did in the Six Counties.
"Sinn Féin has consistently raised the issue of emergency powers and indeed the abuse of them. We are now ten years into the peace process and while we have seen some progress on the issue of criminal justice in the north we have seen absolutely nothing in the south. In fact the Minister for Justice is going backwards with this issue rather than forwards. The Special Criminal Court needs to be closed down and not expanded." ENDS