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Criminal Procedures Bill ‘cheap and lazy’ – Ó Snodaigh

4 March, 2010 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Speaking on the Criminal Procedures Bill 2009 in the Dáil today Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh described the legislation as “cheap and lazy” and said it will do nothing more for victims.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“Unfortunately this Bill does nothing more for victims. Yet again the Government is rolling out cheap and easy legislation under the guise of a significant victims’ initiative instead of taking real action to deliver the practical supports that victims of crime really need. The Minister didn’t even properly consult victims’ organizations when he put this scheme together.

“I would endorse the Irish Council for Civil Liberties’ recommendation that the legislation be amended to clearly assign responsibility for walking the victim, or their family as appropriate, through the impact statement process. Responsibility could be assigned for example to the Gardaí, the DPP or the Judges offices.

“The widening of the victim impact statement facility with the attached safeguards is very welcome indeed but much more must be done to improve the treatment of victims. I urge the government to use this legislation as an opportunity to:

“Introduce a statutory requirement on all criminal justice organizations that interact with victims to reflect the internationally recognised set of victim’s rights within their own codes of practice;

“Legislate to ensure appropriate information for victims at the various stages of the criminal justice system; and

“Ensure availability of a comprehensive spectrum of health and social services and other relevant assistance for victims.” ENDS

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