Legislation to stop criminals financially benefitting from their crime is problematic, says expert

Legislation to stop criminals financially benefitting from their crime is problematic, says expert
Eamonn Lillis

A legal expert is warning proposed legislation aimed at blocking a murderer from benefitting financially from their crime could open more loopholes than it closes.

UCC Professor John Mee addressed the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice which today debated 'Celine's Law' named after Celine Cawley, who was killed by her husband Eamonn Lillis.

Despite his manslaughter conviction, Mr Lillis benefited from the sale of the family home, in which he was a joint tenant, and received a share of the profits of the company he ran with his late wife.

Celine Cawley
Celine Cawley

Professor Mee has recommended further amendments to the bill before it is sent forward.

"No bill is enacted the way it begins but if it were to be enacted then I think it would make things considerably worse," said Prof. Mee.

"I think it focuses on a perceived loophole which I don't think is a loophole in any conventional sense but then it opens three or four bona fide loopholes whereby criminals or murderers could profit from their crime."

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