Criminal Justice (No. 3) Bill, 1993: Committee Stage.

It is proposed that if we do not conclude our business by 5 p.m., we reconvene tomorrow at 10.30 a.m. and continue until 12.30 p.m. It that agreed? Agreed.

The Bill before the committee today is the third piece of criminal legislation which has been referred to this committee. It deals with three important matters: the confiscation of the proceeds of crime, money laundering and international assistance measures. Given that the Bill when enacted will enable Ireland to ratify three international conventions as well as give effect to an EU directive, it is hardly surprising that this is one of the most comprehensive and complex measures which the committee has been asked to consider. Every member of the Committee appreciates that in this day and age crime has no borders, and part of the work of the committee today will be to help this county to assist in and benefit from the international fight against crime.

On Second Stage there was general support from every Deputy who spoke about the principles of the Bill and the pressing need for such measures in the fight against crime. Through the constructive and open-minded approach which has characterised the committee's consideration of other measures we have built up a solid track record of legislative achievements. I have no doubt that the same approach will be taken to our deliberations in teasing out the contents of this Bill.

Prior to the Committee Stage of this Bill it should be noted that amendments have been tabled by the following: Deputy Gay Mitchell, Deputy Eamon Gilmore and Deputy Liz O'Donnell. The text of all the amendments can be found on the lists of amendments which have been circulated.

Section 1 agreed to.