Thursday, 22 March 2012
Privacy Bill 2012: First Stage
I move: “That the Bill be taken in Private Members’ time.”
I seek that this Bill be taken next Wednesday during Private Members’ time at 11.45 after the Order of Business. The Bill was promised as a counterbalance to the Defamation Bill passed some years ago, which Bill substantially weakened the defences of private individuals against invasions of privacy by the media.
I understood from the Bills Office that I was expected to make a 30-second explanation. That is the written instruction I have from that office. It is helpful to my colleagues to know the background. The Bill is almost identical to one produced in 2006 by a previous coalition Government. It is also virtually identical to one on the Order Paper in the name of the Government. I expect that, although there may be amendments, it will be passed.
I thank the House for its efficiency. In particular, I am thankful for the assistance given by officers provided through the Bills Office in making the various tweaks to the Bill. This is a new development, for which the Leader is responsible. It makes Seanad Éireann much more amenable to the introduction of legislation and should be welcomed.