Wednesday, 31 May 2006
International Criminal Court Bill 2003: Report Stage (Resumed) and Final Stage.
Brendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour)
I am surprised and disappointed that the Minister is taking a dogmatic line on this. What he is saying is that the State will act responsibly, simpliciter. That is all well and good, but we are here to make sure we set out in law the duties and responsibilities of the State. If the simple view were true that all Ministers would carry out their duties responsibly and well, we would not get into half the messes we get into.
We need to lay out the framework in which we believe proper conduct is captured. Certainly, in regard to human remains, there may well be rare circumstances where serious criminal charges are being heard and forensic materials may well be required for a contested case, rather than simply the pathology report. We have to make provision for these matters. That is what a broad-seeing legislature does. I am disappointed the Minister feels it is good enough to simply say we should leave it to the Minister and the State, that future Governments will act responsibly in all circumstances and that we do not need to set out what are decent standards in primary legislation.