Bail law reform questioned


A CONSTITUTIONAL amendment to allow reform of the bail laws would not necessarily address the problem of serious crime and could backfire, according to the Irish Law Times.

The demand for reform is based on a perceived need to protect society from "well known perpetrators" of crimes while on bail, it says in an editorial. "This was, of course, precisely the same argument used for the introduction of `selective internment'. Somehow, these kind of plans seem to have a habit of backfiring, though no doubt the proponents of the reformed system would argue that on this occasion they will get the balance right."

It argues that the focus on bail reform delays other necessary changes. These include targeting drug related crime, which accounts for 80 per cent of crime in certain areas; the need to tackle the current backlog in serious criminal trials, particularly through appointing seven extra judges to the Circuit Criminal Court and the need to proceed with changes in the Garda.