The Social Democrats have given a cautious welcome to a report from a review group, led by retired judge James Hamilton.

The Hamilton Review contains 25 recommendations and aims to tackle white collar crime in a far more uniform way. The challenge now for Government is to adopt and implement these recommendations.

Social Democrats Justice spokesperson, Catherine Murphy, said:

“I welcome this report by Mr Hamilton. It attempts to address issues we have pointed out since the inception of the Social Democrats: that the underfunding and fragmentation of the various public authorities tasked with tackling white collar crime has impinged on their ability to pursue allegations of corruption and crime with real effectiveness.

“We proposed the establishment of stand-alone, fully independent entity called the Anti-Corruption Agency.

“Crucially, the Social Democrats want to see the correct allocation of resources. For example, the specialist prosecutors working on white collar crime in the DPP’s office need to be properly resourced.

“It is all very well to ring-fence resources, but you must bolster agencies such as SIPO in advance as they will be starting from a very low base.

“Some of the measures called for in the report can be introduced immediately, for example, changes to ethics in public office legislation to deal with former members of the Oireachtas.

“Proper enforcement and consequences for those that commit crime or indulge in corruption will change the behaviour of others. We understand the value in that.”

December 3, 2020

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