Thursday, 17 December 2020
Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017: Report and Final Stages
I also welcome the swift passage of this Bill and the progress it has made so far. I commend Deputy Howlin on the work he has done in bringing it this far. All of these amendments are basically aimed at the same thing, namely, ensuring that there is no misunderstanding when it comes to the law on how a person can be prosecuted, so that there is no loophole one can get out through. All the amendments in this group deal with that in different ways. As Deputy Howlin said, amendment No. 5 seems to be the simplest measure, except it only suggests that "what is, or purports to be" will be inserted in one place. I am not sure if that will be adequate or if it may need to be inserted somewhere else as well. I suggest that the Minister of State come back to us on that. I hope he will be able to progress this and that he will accept that it is sensible to try to ensure there is no loophole for any person who is setting out with the intention to damage another person. That is what this is all about. We want to ensure that does not happen and that the law covers that.