Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution agrees work plan to consider the Report & Recommendations of the Report of the Citizens Assembly

The Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution met in Leinster House this evening to consider a draft work plan for its work on the Citizens Assembly Report.

11 July 2017

The Chair of the Committee, Senator Catherine Noone, outlined that the Committee - having considered the approach in great detail at meetings held last Wednesday – now has a road map to assess the Report.

Senator Noone stated, “I am grateful to the Committee Members who contributed so positively and constructively to our discussion as we refined how we would get our work done within three months of our first public session.”

“We will meet again on 13 September to finalise our list of witnesses and we will commence our public hearing on 20th September with Ms Justice Laffoy the Chairperson of the Citizens Assembly.”

The Committee will deal with the Constitutional implications of the recommendations made by the Assembly in its first module. In that regard, Senator Noone stated “The Committee will examine all aspects of retaining, repealing and replacing Article 40.3.3 and we will hear from a range of experts including constitutional legal experts.”

In Module 2, the Committee will consider the 13 reasons recommended by the Citizens Assembly for which termination of pregnancy should be lawful. Senator Noone outlined that the Committee “wanted to hear from experts, including from those in the medical field who deal with the range of issues that were dealt with as reasons by the Citizens Assembly”.

Finally, the Committee will consider the other ancillary recommendations that were made by the Assembly. Senator Noone outlined the importance of these when she stated that, “While the Assembly did not vote on these, they raise important issues such as the need for enhanced services and we will be asking those bodies that are charged with the delivery of those services to outline how they will enhance those services, thus leading to better outcomes for society a whole.”

The Committee expects to report to the Oireachtas by mid-December.  

ENDS/

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Committee membership:

Chairperson: Senator Catherine Noone (Fine Gael)

TDs:

James Browne (Fianna Fáil)
Lisa Chambers (Fianna Fáil)
Ruth Coppinger (Solidarity-People Before Profit)
Clare Daly (Independents 4 Change)
Bernard Durkan (Fine Gael)
Peter Fitzpatrick  (Fine Gael)
Billy Kelleher (Fianna Fáil)
Mattie McGrath (Rural Independents Group)
Catherine Murphy (Social Democrats/Green Party Group)
Hildegarde Naughton (Fine Gael)
Jonathan O'Brien (Sinn Fein)
Kate O'Connell (Fine Gael)
Louise O'Reilly (Sinn Fein)
Jan O'Sullivan (Labour)
Anne Rabbite (Fianna Fáil )

Senators:

Sen. Jerry Buttimer (Fine Gael)
Sen. Paul Gavan (Sinn Fein)
Sen. Ronan Mullen (Independent Group)
Sen. Catherine Noone (Fine Gael)
Sen. Ned O'Sullivan (Fianna Fáil)
Sen. Lynn Ruane (Civil Engagement Group)