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Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (11 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I join Senator Dolan, among others, in his very moving tribute to Noel Whelan whose death, sadly, was announced today. Like Senator Dolan I had the pleasure of knowing Noel. I had the privilege of serving with him on the steering group of the Together for Yes campaign and the Repeal the Eighth campaign last year. I had also campaigned alongside him on marriage equality and on the campaign...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (11 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: No, I am not personally interested, but I thank the Leader for asking. I support the Tánaiste's critique, reported today, of the leadership contenders for the Conservative Party as an "utterly disingenuous debate". As British-US relations deteriorate to a new low following the forced resignation of the British ambassador to the US, Mr. Kim Darroch, we can only watch in dismay the...

Seanad: An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (11 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I thank the Leader.

Seanad: Parole Bill 2016: Committee and Remaining Stages (11 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I would like to make a brief point on section 2. I welcome the Minister of State to the House and wish to say, as I did on Second Stage, how much I welcome the Bill on behalf of Labour Senators, although I regret that it is being rushed through so swiftly. I did not table amendments because the Dáil will not be sitting tomorrow and will therefore be unable to accept any Seanad...

Seanad: Parole Bill 2016: Committee and Remaining Stages (11 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I am very grateful to the Minister of State for that clarification. It is very helpful.

Seanad: Parole Bill 2016: Committee and Remaining Stages (11 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I express my strong support for the amendment.It is a very important one. It makes sense to ensure there is a mechanism for persons with certain convictions to seek High Court permission to serve on the parole board. Support for the amendment is present in the current wording of section 12(4), which only disqualifies people in respect of certain convictions, for example, convictions on...

Seanad: Parole Bill 2016: Committee and Remaining Stages (11 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I listened with courtesy to what Senator O'Donnell said. I acknowledge her great passion and commitment, and her work with AdVIC. I too have worked with AdVIC and have worked on victims' rights for many years. However, I have also worked with offenders, both as a criminal justice practitioner and as an activist. I take grave exception to the Senator's critiques of the IPRT and her attacks...

Seanad: Parole Bill 2016: Committee and Remaining Stages (11 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I wish to come back in briefly to clarify the remarks made by Senator Conway. I would never say any person or organisation was infallible. I do not believe that.

Seanad: Parole Bill 2016: Committee and Remaining Stages (11 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I thank colleagues who have spoken in support of my proposition. To clarify, what I favour is more wholesale reform of sentencing for murder. As Senator Conway is well aware, we do not have the concept of first or second degree murder in our law. Anyone convicted of murder, regardless of the context, receives a mandatory life sentence. That is what I would like to see us change. I accept...

Seanad: Parole Bill 2016: Committee and Remaining Stages (11 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: That is the case in the US.

Seanad: Parole Bill 2016: Committee and Remaining Stages (11 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I wish to speak in support of this amendment. I have already spoken about my issue with lengthening the time before a person becomes eligible for parole from seven years, which is the current practice, to 12 years. I am concerned that this will reduce the potential for rehabilitation of individuals. As the Irish Penal Reform Trust has pointed out to us, the parole process does take some...

Seanad: Parole Bill 2016: Committee and Remaining Stages (11 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I return to a point I raised earlier that relates to a number of sections. I am grateful to my colleague, Tony McGillicuddy, BL, for raising the matter with me. There seems to be a discrepancy in the wording of the sections, including in that of the section before us, about whether notifications are to be made to the parolee or to his or her representative. It arises in section 31(6),...

Seanad: Parole Bill 2016: Committee and Remaining Stages (11 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome the passage of the Parole Bill, which is long overdue, where we will be placing the parole board and process on a statutory framework and footing. It is in keeping with my party's long-standing policy and with many recommendations from different bodies, including the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality. I am grateful to the Minister of State, his officials and for the help and...

Seanad: Courts (Establishment and Constitution) (Amendment) Bill 2019: Committee and Remaining Stages (10 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome the amendment. It is sensible to make this provision and to do so in this Bill rather than in the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill which we will shortly have the pleasure of debating again. I did not get the opportunity to speak on Second Stage of this Bill. I very much welcome it. It is a brief and sensible Bill which seeks to extend the number of judges on the Court of...

Seanad: Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2017: Committee Stage (Resumed) (10 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I welcome the Minister to the House for another instalment, perhaps the final instalment, of Committee Stage of this Bill.I hear from Senator Boyhan that Senator McDowell is withdrawing amendment No. 103b, which I think is wise. The motivation behind it is clear and admirable but the wording of the provision is inelegant, at best. It is somewhat clunky and the Bill is already full of...

Seanad: Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2017: Committee Stage (Resumed) (10 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I hope it will come back on Report Stage in a redrafted form.

Seanad: Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2017: Committee Stage (Resumed) (10 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I think we should all take exception to the Minister's comment about underlings as it is uncalled for, even in the spirit of good humour with which I hope he offered the quip.

Seanad: Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2017: Committee Stage (Resumed) (10 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: I took objection to the Minister's use of the word "underlings", which has a nasty and derogatory sound. However, the word "passenger" is far less loaded and the Minister has taken on a distinct transport hue, somewhat like the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Seanad: Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2017: Committee Stage (Resumed) (10 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: He is, perhaps, the real driver of this entire Bill.

Seanad: Judicial Appointments Commission Bill 2017: Committee Stage (Resumed) (10 Jul 2019)

Ivana Bacik: There are quite a number of passengers here but only one driver. That is all I will say on the matter. It is clear that the driver is not in the room but he is responsible for transport. While I agree with Senator Humphreys that we should conclude Committee Stage today, we should not forget who the real driver is.

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