Written answers

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Department of Justice and Equality

Proposed Legislation

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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284. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality when the cybercrime Bill will be published to give effect to those provisions of the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime 2001 of the Council of Europe not already provided for in national law in order to enable ratification of the convention. [37279/19]

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois, Fine Gael)
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I outlined the position in relation to ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime in January last. At that time, I updated the House on the significant progress made in the ratification process within the term of this Government, particularly through the introduction of legislation to give effect to the key criminal law provisions of the Convention.

In relation to the Cybercrime Convention, otherwise known as the Budapest Convention, the majority of the provisions of the Convention are already provided for in Irish law. The Cybercrime Convention is very broad in scope and provisions of the Convention are provided for in criminal justice, interception, sexual offences, extradition, mutual legal assistance and copyright legislation.

The most significant step towards ratification of the Budapest Convention was the enactment in 2017 of the first Bill in this jurisdiction specifically targeted at cybercrime. The Criminal Justice (Offences Relating to Information Systems) Act 2017 gave effect to an EU Directive on attacks against information systems, the main provisions of which reflect the key provisions of the Convention.

This recent legislation therefore also gives effect to provisions in the Convention relating to offences against information systems and their data and search and seizure powers in respect of such data. An Garda Síochána, the organisation with primary responsibility for dealing with cybercrime, has strongly welcomed this landmark legislation as a comprehensive weapon to tackle criminality including computer systems and interference with such systems or their data.

Officials from my Department attended a meeting of the Cybercrime Convention Committee in Strasbourg earlier this year and discussed with the Council of Europe Ireland's positive progress on ratification.

The current Government Legislation Programme makes provision for the drafting of a new Cybercrime Bill to give effect to those remaining elements of the Convention not already covered in national law. This is to ensure that Ireland can ratify the Budapest Convention and is evidence of the Government's clear commitment in that regard. My intention is that this legislation will be in place to facilitate formal ratification of the Convention as soon as it is possible.

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
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285. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the parental leave and benefit Bill; the date on which persons may avail of an additional two weeks paid parental leave; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37311/19]

Photo of David StantonDavid Stanton (Cork East, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy will be aware, on 23 April 2019, the Government announced that it had approved the priority drafting of the Parent's Leave and Benefit Bill 2019. My officials are working with the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in the Attorney General's Office to draft the Bill.

It is envisaged that legislation will provide for two weeks of parental leave and benefit for all new parents in employment or self-employment in respect of babies born on or after 1 November 2019.  This will facilitate parents in spending more time with their babies in their critical first year of life.

Moreover, the Government is committed to increasing both leave and benefit to seven weeks for each parent by 2021.


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