Monday 24 October 2016

Dáil delay compounds the crisis in justice

Published 21/04/2016 | 02:30

The High Court
The High Court

In the real world yesterday, cases against two convicted criminals who re-offended while under suspended sentences were dropped as a result of a landmark High Court ruling this week. Both walked free. In the real world, every day cases come before the courts where the State makes an application to have previously suspended sentences activated. But because the High Court has ruled that the power to reactivate suspended sentences is unconstitutional, the hands of judges are currently tied.

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However, in the dream world of suspended animation, in which the interminable talks about forming a government are taking place, nothing changes. This means that criminals will not have to face the consequences of possible crimes because the necessary constitutional mechanisms cannot be deployed without a government, and so the crisis in justice will continue.

The delays in putting together some sort of agreement to spare the blushes of the 32nd Dáil are an affront to voters and a national embarrassment. Arguing the toss while people suffer in hospitals and painstaking work by gardaí to convict the guilty comes to naught is simply unconscionable.

Irish Independent

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