Owen pledges action on bail law


THE Minister for Justice, Mrs Owen, told the House that the Government is determined to bring forward proposals to deal with abuses of the bail laws. She was replying to a private member's motion from Mr Sean Maloney (Lab) calling for a register of bench warrants.

Mrs Owen said that, given the large number of bench warrants issued each year, it was clear that a reliable, centralised register could, not be set up without the benefit of computerisation.

It seemed that the Garda Siochana might be the best body to maintain a register, she said.

In other business:

. The Merchant Shipping (Liability of Shipowners and Others) Bill, 1996, was introduced and the second stage was passed.

. The Order in draft of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1995 (Southern, Regional Fisheries Commission) Order, 1996, was approved.

The House adjourned until 10.30 this morning.