Letters to the Editor
The Irish Times, 16th July 2009
Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill
Madam, – I read with dismay the ill-informed views of Michael J McCann (July 9th) on new criminal justice legislation and the motives of criminal lawyers in writing to this paper.
As long as we in Ireland couch criminal legislation only in terms of the potential victim, we run the risk of seriously compromising the important safeguards that have been constructed over time to protect us all.
Criminal legislation is necessarily a balancing act and, in order properly to legislate in this area, new measures must be viewed through the eyes of the person who is wrongly accused. I wonder how Mr McCann would feel if the measures contained in the new act were uncompromisingly applied to a brother or sister, or son or daughter of his, who claimed to be absolutely innocent?
The erosion of these protections is a danger to us all. The standard we must apply is not the conviction of the guilty at all costs, but the protection of the innocent. – Yours, etc,