Seanad debates

Friday, 20 March 2020

An Bille Sláinte (Caomhnú agus Cosaint agus Bearta Éigeandála eile ar mhaithe le Leas an Phobail), 2020: Céim an Choiste agus na Céimeanna a bheidh Fágtha - Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages


11:00 am

Photo of Alice Mary HigginsAlice Mary Higgins (Independent) | Oireachtas source

I move amendment No. 12:

In page 8, line 10, after “necessary” to insert “and proportionate”.

I will speak to amendments Nos. 12, 13 and 16 simultaneously. I was asked to put in a number of amendments in this area and I acknowledge the extraordinary and important work of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties in addressing the unforeseen consequences of this legislation and ensuring that it is rights-proofed. Amendment No. 12 addresses the fact that the Minister would have powers "where otherwise necessary". I am concerned to make sure that necessity and proportionality is applied to every measure made under this legislation. Those are core principles. I have been asked to put a number of substitutions and I did not add five amendments where we should be putting "necessity" and proportionality tests into the legislation. I would like, in the clause to which this amendment applies, for the Minister to indicate that necessity and proportionality will be applied not just to the areas that are listed in section 10, but to the other unnamed areas which he also gives himself the power to regulate. This is a wide power and does not apply only to what is listed. The power can apply to whatever the Minister deems "otherwise necessary". I want to know that anything the Minister deems otherwise necessary will be proportionate to the crisis and that he will give us the rationales on the necessity and proportionality of any steps he will take.

Which other amendments are being discussed?


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