Written answers

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Department of Justice and Equality

Legislative Measures

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Leader of the Opposition; Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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94. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 575 of 28 September 2021, if her intended amendments to section 120 of the Succession Act 1965 will provide for circumstances of domestic homicide in which the perpetrator dies by suicide; and if the amendments will be included in the Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill. [48485/21]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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As previously expressed, I would like to offer my sincere condolences to all the victims, families and loved ones of those who have been affected in such awful circumstances. Work is progressing on amending Section 120 of the Succession Act, in order to ensure that perpetrators of domestic homicides could not benefit through inheritance.

As I have said previously, this work involves a high level of consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, due to the number of complex legal issues and possible implications which require thorough examination by experts in this field of law. This is a complex area of the law, and I want to ensure that any amendment to the Succession Act best addresses the issues of concern families have, such as those raised by the Deputy, and that we avoid any unintended or unforeseen consequences.

Also, the independent study on Familicide and Domestic Homicide Review is due to be published soon, and although its terms of reference do not cover this issue specifically I would like to consider its findings and implications before completing the work on this proposed amendment. For the reasons outlined, it was decided to not include an amendment to the Succession Act in the Courts and Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) General Scheme. However, I can assure the Deputy that this important work is progressing and that we are currently considering the appropriate legislative vehicle to ensure the best possible resolution to this issue.

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