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Submission to The Balance in the Criminal Law Review Group

The Balance in the Criminal Law Review Group

Submission of Edward McGarr
McGarr Solicitors
12 City Gate
Lower Bridge St.
Dublin 8
Phone: 6351580

That the “Balance in the Criminal Law Review Group” was established following a speech by the Tanaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform undermines its credentials. We already have the Law Reform Commission whose publications do not generally exhibit the realpolitik which is the survival imperative of Government Ministers. Why, then, the need for the Group? The title of the Group implies there is an imbalance between the rights of suspects and the rights of society. It is difficult to know how such an imbalance came about, if it did. If there is such an imbalance the Law Reform Commission is the obvious body to look into it. Ruminations from the Tanaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform or any one else, about “change in society” are no substitute for real analysis.
The members of the Group are excellent people but not, to the writer’s knowledge, practitioners in the field of criminal law, either for the prosecution or the defence. The Group would be the stronger for some representative/s from such a background. It is possible that the dynamics of a criminal prosecution could be examined with such assistance. Zealots should not (and mostly are not) assigned the work of prosecution; for the unexpressed reason that a prosecution is to some degree a creative act, whether in its construction or its presentation or both. (more…)

What the…!

It isn’t easy to generate readable prose on any subject, even one’s “own” subject. The principal difficulty is the depreciation of intellectual capital. We tend to learn what we know early in life and by the time we look authoritative we know less than we ever knew.

Maurice Neligan is a case in point. In the Irish Times he has opined about the trauma of medical negligence claims on doctors.

He shouldn’t bother, unless he has monitored the latest available information (in the self-same Irish Times!)

That shows there are more than 4,000 adverse incidents in Irish Hospitals each month. That’s more than 48,000 per year.

The trauma to concern us should be the trauma of the victim patients, not the trauma of the doctors.