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

8:25 pm

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour) | Oireachtas source

I move amendment No. 41:

In page 82, subsection (2), lines 10 to 20, to delete paragraphs (b) to (d) and substitute the following:"(b) the rights and interests of any member affected,
(c) the rights and interests of any other person who provided information to the member,
(d) the rights and interests of any other person to whom the paper relates,".
Sections 102(2) and (4) and 111(2) set out the matters to which the court shall have regard in determining the disclosure of a private paper, confidential communication or official document to a court, tribunal or commission of inquiry. Under these subsections, the courts shall have regard to the rights and interests of certain persons.

The published Bill goes on to specify a list of examples of rights and interests that have already been determined by the courts, such as innocence at stake, the right to due process, the right to privacy and the operation of the democratic process. It would be preferable not to include such a non-exhaustive list in the Bill, but to leave it to the discretion of the courts to determine the appropriate rights and interests to be considered in each case. I am, therefore, proposing an amendment to the wording of section 102(2) and (4) and section 111(2) to give effect to this change.


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