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200 Criminal Justice Bill amendments "outrageous abuse of parliamentary procedures" - Ó Snodaigh

21 March, 2006

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Human Rights, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has reacted angrily to Minister McDowell's latest attempt to introduce substantial legislation through the back door. Deputy Ó Snodaigh was giving an initial response to the fact that the Minister has put forward over 200 amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill 2004. The Dublin South Central TD called for the Bill to be scrapped and for the process to be started again as he said this was an "outrageous abuse of parliamentary procedures."

Deputy Ó Snodaigh TD, "The arrogance of this Minister knows no bounds. His latest attempt to introduce substantial legislation through the back door is absolutely unacceptable and is an outrageous abuse of parliamentary procedures and an insult to all TDs elected on behalf of the people to legislate for them.

"This afternoon my office received over 200 amendments contained in over 330 pages to the Criminal Justice Bill 2004. The original Bill only contained 38 Articles.

"It is clear just from a cursory reading of some of these amendments that they should be contained in separate pieces of legislation. Unfortunately this is following a very familiar pattern where the Minister tries to sneak legislation through without proper scrutiny. Either he is completely incompetent in formulating legislation or he is wilfully trying to hamper the process that attempts to make him accountable to the Dáil -- either way he has proven to be completely unfit for the job he holds.

"It is clear that this Bill has now been fundamentally changed from its original intent. It must be scrapped and the whole process begun again." ENDS

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