The Bill, currently passing through Parliament, covers a wide range of subject matter, including homicide and suicide, coroners, witness anonymity and the Sentencing Council.

Desmond Browne QC, the Bar Council chair, 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.”

He added: “The Bar Council is concerned that the Bill as it stands contains far-reaching changes to existing legislation which have not been given sufficient thought.” (See Bar News p ii.)