Higgins, Jim

Wednesday, 21 April 1999

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 503 No. 4

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Criminal Justice (No. 2) Bill, 1997 [ Seanad ] : Report Stage.

(Mayo): I agree with the amendments proposed by the Minister, which is in stark contrast to the attitude of all Members of the Opposition when we dealt with the Criminal Justice (No. 2) Bill, 1997, on...More Button

(Mayo): The Minister said that the judge will have to be satisfied that there is a threat of real intimidation. Will he not accept that in cases of gross violence, particularly sexual violence by peo...More Button

(Mayo): I move amendment No. 2: In page 6, lines 33 to 37, to delete all words from and including “the market” in line 33 down to and including “more” in line 37 and substitute “the quantities of the ...More Button

(Mayo): I believe Deputy O'Donoghue insisted on being Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when Cabinet choices were being made.More Button

(Mayo): He insisted he was going to give effect to all the promises and hot gospel he preached on this side of the House when he was a zealot and a reformer. We have seen his treatment of refugees. Go...More Button

(Mayo): I am amused when I hear the Minister take credit for his share of the 39 per cent minority Government.More Button

(Mayo): What the Minister said was a simplistic soundbite.More Button

(Mayo): It compounded the hard man image. My amendments do not water down the proposal but give it certainty. They deal not with price, which is variable, but with volume and weight, which can be dete...More Button

(Mayo): It is, but we are dealing not with image but with reality. Rather than acting in a definitive and determined manner, the Minister is introducing a section which will be struck down in court at...More Button

(Mayo): We are not motivated in trying to get the better of the Minister or to do down his proposal. We are trying to put in place a legislative measure that will stand up. The Minister's proposal can...More Button

(Mayo): I move amendment No. 6: In page 7, lines 44 to 46, to delete “as the minimum period of imprisonment to be served by that person a period of not less than 10 years imprisonment” and substitute ...More Button

Criminal Justice (No. 2) Bill, 1997 [ Seanad ] : Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage.

(Mayo): I would like to hear the Minister's response to the substantial arguments made by Deputy Gregory in particular.More Button

(Mayo): The Minister put it very well when he said that powers exist under the Misuse of Drugs Act to impose life sentences. If the powers exist, why are they not being availed of? I take the point ma...More Button

(Mayo): I move amendment No. 8: In page 7, to delete lines 47 to 49, and in page 8, to delete lines 1 to 3 and substitute the following: “(3C) The court in determining the appropriate sentence under s...More Button

(Mayo): I move amendment No. 14: In page 10, to delete lines 5 to 31. Part III sets about abolishing pre-trial procedures. I totally oppose the Minister's proposals because he is seeking to abolish on...More Button

(Mayo): A big difference.More Button

(Mayo): Obviously the Minister is being briefed by the Government's media monitoring agency in relation to Deputy Rabbitte and Deputy Howlin. The bewildering logic of the Minister is mind-boggling. Ob...More Button

(Mayo): What is happening now is not acceptable. The preliminary hearing has always been an essential part of allowing defendants to gain timely access to the facts of the cases against them and empow...More Button

(Mayo): We are all in favour of a reformed system. We want to update procedures and ensure that we do whatever is possible to improve the criminal justice system and the courts system. However, the pr...More Button

(Mayo): I support the thrust of the argument made by Deputy Howlin. We are talking about another fundamental erosion of something which has previously been enshrined in legislation. Given that we are ...More Button

(Mayo): The Minister is not doing himself any favours in adopting this attitude. He commented that it is not the function of the House to bring forward legislation to make something clearer. Has he t...More Button

(Mayo): We have been dealing with substantial issues since 10.30 a.m. relating to the Constitution, the criminal justice system, the courts and the rights of citizens. Deputy Howlin and I have attempt...More Button

(Mayo): Without referring to his notes and as a gesture, the Minister should show independence of spirit and thought by accepting at least one amendment.More Button

(Mayo): I agree with the thrust of Deputy Howlin's argument. The criminal justice system depends to a large extent on a significant number of defendants pleading guilty. It is not that we want anyone ...More Button

(Mayo): The Minister is giving with one hand and taking with the other. I do not know why he does not leave well enough alone. We are trying to provide people with a reasonable inducement to plead gui...More Button

(Mayo): What is the Minister's attitude to the Supreme Court judgment to which I referred which held that it was wrong in principle to impose the maximum sentence when the defendant had pleaded guilty...More Button

(Mayo): I enjoyed the debate. I did not regard it as tortuous. There was one day for Second Stage, two days for Committee Stage and one day for Report Stage. The blame for it taking from 1997 until 19...More Button


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