Seanad debates

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business


10:30 am

Photo of Malcolm ByrneMalcolm Byrne (Fianna Fail)

I have a point of order. A Chathaoirligh, I ask you to provide clarity on your interpretation. When Senator Crowe raised the issue of a sentence, you said that members should not comment on a sentence that is handed down. I can fully understand if a court case is ongoing that we should not comment in this House. However, when a decision has been handed down, I think, as Members, we should be free, if we believe that a sentence is inappropriate, to comment on it. Members of the Judiciary will often comment on actions or inactions of Members of the Oireachtas; I appreciate that it is separate. However, in this case a decision has been handed down.

You will note that last week when Senator McDowell and I raised the statement of the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union, I was very appreciative that you allowed us to proceed when criticising the interpretation there. I would like some clarity on what we are allowed. When a sentence that we feel is inappropriate has been handed down, I think it is appropriate that Members should be allowed to express our views.


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