Commenting on the Bill, the Chairman of the Bar, Desmond Browne QC, said:

“This Bill is a substantial measure dealing with a variety of complex legal points, such as mercy killings. Legislative changes like these should only be presented to Parliament after extensive consultation. That has not occurred in this case.

The Bar Council is concerned that the Bill as it stands contains farreaching changes to existing legislation which have not been given sufficient thought. The Bill as currently drafted could have serious detrimental effects on our justice system. I urge Parliamentarians to reflect on the Bar’s concerns which are set out in our Second Reading briefing”.

Peter Lodder QC, the Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association, said: “The Coroners and Justice Bill provides a number of welcome proposals. However, the Criminal Bar Association is eager to ensure that any legislation affecting the justice system is robust and will serve the public interest. We are concerned that the Bill as it stands contains a number of measures which do not achieve this.”