Friday, 18 December 2020
Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017: Committee and Remaining Stages
I appreciate and understand the Senators' concern on the issue. I want to see civil restraint orders happen. Section 13 of the Bill as initiated provided for civil restraint orders. On Report Stage in the Dáil, it was agreed to delete the civil restraint orders provisions from the Bill. I understand that the Minister, Deputy McEntee, and the sponsor of the Bill, Deputy Howlin, had agreed that they would support the deletion at this time. Amendment No. 22 now seeks to introduce such provisions. The Minister gave a commitment to examine the issue in further detail in the context of another Bill that will be progressed in 2021. Orders of this nature are complex. I understand there are issues with the amendment, including, for example, not specifying the categories of persons who could apply for such an order and within what parameters. The Minister will seek to introduce orders of this nature in another legislative vehicle, following further consideration and consultation with relevant stakeholders. I therefore ask the Senators not to press the amendment.
In the new year, the Minister intends to introduce a miscellaneous provisions criminal procedures Bill. I am also working on introducing a civil procedures (miscellaneous provisions) Bill. I hope these issues can be addressed in that legislation. I also want to introduce amendments needed in section 117 of the Succession Act and more importantly section 120 of the Succession Act to address the issue of benefit under joint tenancy where one person murders their partner. Several important civil amendments are needed. I am working with the Minister to introduce the Bill to which I refer in the new year. I hope these two Bills will tackle the many important issues that do not need to be dealt with by means of stand-alone legislation but that need to be addressed as quickly as possible.