Dáil debates

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Statute Law Revision Bill 2015: Report and Final Stages


10:50 am

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I have had a particular interest in this process which a Fianna Fáil-led government began 13 years so. Quite a considerable amount of work has already been done in this area but it is very tedious. I hope this Government will keep up the momentum to eliminate all pre-independence legislation from our Statute Book so that we are totally governed by laws brought in since independence. I agree with the Minister of State that there is also a need to constantly update laws introduced since then. Time and again we have found in this House that provisions set out in legislation are outdated and in need of replacement. There were some absolutely extraordinary laws in place in this country. There was one such law that I had a particular fetish about but I am not sure if it has been fully repealed, that is, the one requiring the wearing of wigs in courts, which is totally anachronistic in a republic. The sooner "my Lords" and "my Ladies" down in the Four Courts realise that this belongs to another era, that we are now in a republic and get rid of all of the paraphernalia of 18th and 19th century imperialism, the better. They should dress in a way that is appropriate in the twenty first century. I am glad that the Supreme Court gave the lead and did away with wigs. I hope that on my next visit - which I hope will not be any time soon - to the Four Courts, I will not see anybody wearing a 19th century-style wig. I would ask the Minister of State to ensure that this provision is finally taken off the Statute Book.


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