Wednesday, 16 May 2018
Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Bill 2017: Committee Stage
I move amendment No. 1:
In page 17, between lines 3 and 4, to insert the following:
“(1) The District Court may try summarily a person or body corporate charged with a summary or indictable offence under this Act if—(a) the Court is of opinion that the facts proved or alleged constitute a minor offence fit to be tried summarily,
(b) the accused, on being informed by the Court of his, her or its right to be tried with a jury, does not object to being tried summarily, and
(c) the Director of Public Prosecutions consents to the accused being tried summarily for the offence.”.
I welcome the Minister and his officials to the House. On the previous occasion, I indicated that I had some concerns about this issue and therefore this amendment should not come as a surprise. I spoke to a number of people in both Houses about the Bill and I also sought independent advice, although not legal advice, on the matter. I came away with the view that in terms of the importance of this issue, politicians cannot be above the law.