Seanad debates

Thursday, 11 July 2019

Parole Bill 2016: Committee and Remaining Stages


10:30 am

Photo of Marie Louise O'DonnellMarie Louise O'Donnell (Independent) | Oireachtas source

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 9, between lines 12 and 13, to insert the following:“(4) Notwithstanding subsection (3)any regulation made by the Minister under section 24shall not have effect unless a resolution approving such regulation has been passed by each House of the Oireachtas within 21 days on which those Houses have sat after the regulation is laid before it.”.

I will call for a vote on this. The subsection proposed in my amendment effectively requires positive approval by both Houses of any regulation made under section 24 fixing the minimum proportion of a non-life sentence which must be served. The present version of section 4 merely allows either House to veto any such regulation. In my amendment I am suggesting that the Minister would have to positively justify such regulation to the satisfaction of both Houses in order to make the regulation effective. The Bill as presently drafted assumes that each House will acquiesce. In other words, the regulations are a fait accompli. Should my amendment pass, the House would have a chance to probe and scrutinise the Minister on the rationale underpinning his proposals. This is very simple but very important and I would like this to be considered. The Oireachtas should consider the Minister's regulations before they become law instead of them automatically becoming law whenever the Minister published them with the only possibility of overturning them being if either House of the Oireachtas passed a motion annulling them, as would happen under the law as currently designed. The passing of such a motion is an exceptionally rare event. I do not believe it has ever occurred under any other legislation containing similar provisions. I will call a vote on this amendment.


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