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Kildare North TD Calls For Emergency Passing Of Bill To Allow Continued Use Of Court Presenters At District Courts

File image: Rolling News

Deputy James Lawless has said there are potential repercussions if the bill is not passed.

An emergency passing of a Bill through the Oireachtas is needed to allow for the continued use of Court Presenters or non-prosecuting gardaí a right of audience before the District Court, according Fianna Fáil TD and Chairperson of the Oireachtas Justice Committee, James Lawless.

The Kildare North TD insists the use of Court Presenters or non-prosecuting gardai to address district courts has been a worthwhile and efficient system which has allowed garda resources to be managed well.

Deputy Lawless commented: “The bill is due to be published today, due to the committee fast tracking its passage, the bill will then commence second stage in the Dáil next Tuesday afternoon when the house next meets.

"This will allow this urgent legislation to be in law within a day of being introduced to the house," he said.

Deputy Lawless said that is so important that this bill is approved by June 16th.

"There are potential repercussions should this not happen.

"For instance, anybody who was prosecuted or even that pleaded guilty in cases where non-prosecuting gardaí appeared in the District Court could now challenge their convictions," he explained.

Deputy James Lawless TD, in his capacity as Chair of the Oireachtas Justice Committee, considered a request from the Minister for Justice to waive the requirement to undertake Pre-Legislative Scrutiny on the General Scheme of the Garda Síochána (Amendment) Bill 2022.    

Deputy Lawless continued, “The Committee has granted a waiver of Pre-Legislative Scrutiny given that the courts have been forced into deadlock at local level due to the uncertainty following Judge Bolger’s ruling in the Davitt case.

“The Committee considers Pre-Legislative Scrutiny to be an important step in the legislative process however, in this case, it recognised that it was important to adopt a practical approach which recognises the practice on the ground for decades, where a nominated Garda officer would handle cases on behalf of all local Gardaí, whilst of course respecting Judge Bolger’s identification of a lacuna in the existing law and hence the need to rapidly update the legislation," he added.

 

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