Wednesday, 16 May 2018
Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Bill 2017: Committee Stage
I will make two final points very briefly. I do not want a misunderstanding to emanate from the House today. I state again that what we have under the Bill is a penalty of forfeiture of office. It will be possible for the courts to order that someone forfeit his or her seat in Parliament as a result or consequence of wrongdoing.That is, again, a consequence of the legislation we are bringing forward after the Mahon tribunal. Senator Boyhan was right to refer to the Mahon tribunal, but the very essence of this legislation is as a direct result of its recommendations, with at least eight recommendations being provided for in the legislation.
I assure Senators that extensive consultation has taken place within the Department and involving the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. Senators are aware that Department has responsibility for electoral law and, ultimately, it was a policy decision to apply the exclusion at 17(4)(c) to all elected offices for reasons of consistency. We will come back to this at a later stage, and I acknowledge the withdrawal of the amendment.