Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform: Select Sub-Committee on Public Expenditure and Reform

Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Bill 2013: Committee Stage

6:35 pm

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I appreciate the Minister's answer and I accept it. I was not asking about sanctions but about self-incrimination which I know often has the consequence of a sanction. I have raised this issue with the Minister in the past. I recognise that it is not the practice to make available the advice of the Attorney General but there are circumstances in which it would be extremely helpful not least to those of us in opposition as we try to grapple with complex and potentially very contentious issues within, for instance, this legislation.

The Minister and his Department are clearly satisfied with the advice they have received. I would feel more assured in dealing with all Stages, particularly Committee Stage, if we had sight of that legislation. In exceptional circumstances the Government might consider accommodating Opposition Deputies with the legal advice to which it has access through the Office of the Attorney General. The Minister recognised my substantive and important point, namely, that we cannot afford to get this legislation wrong. I make that point in a spirit of co-operation.


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