Submissions invited on the Heads of Children and Family Relationship Bill

The Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality (hereinafter the “Committee”) is inviting written submissions from interested groups or individuals on the Heads of the Children and Family Relationship Bill.

Written submissions should be submitted electronically by email (PDF/MsWord or equivalent) and should be received not later than 3pm on Friday 28th February 2014 at the following e-mail address only:

It is essential that submissions are concise and to the point.  Submissions should be set out on a “Head by Head” basis and should not contain any unnecessary or superfluous material that does not relate directly to the Heads of the Bill.  If reference is made to other publications, a link to this publication is sufficient and it is not necessary to send these as separate attachments.  Pages in the submissions should be numbered.

The Heads of the Bill can be accessed here. See also Policy Rationale and Briefing Note (via Department website).

Submissions and communications should only be sent to the email address above and not to individual members of the Committee.  Please note that the Clerk will ensure that all members of the Committee receive, in due course, copies of all submissions and communications received.  To avoid confusion and duplication, please do not forward hard copies of submissions made electronically.

In a separate document from your electronic submission, please include a covering letter outlining in brief why you are making a submission.  The covering letter should include your name, your postal address, email address and contact telephone number.  You should also indicate in your letter if you would be prepared to appear in public session at any Committee meeting.

The Committee will consider any suitable written submissions received and may decide to invite a number of contributors to public hearings should it be considered necessary.


  1. Submissions sent to any other e-mail address may not be accepted
  2. Anonymous submissions cannot be accepted and will be rejected
  3. Petitions and Form letters may not be accepted or published
  4. Submissions made to a Committee may be published as received either as part of a Committee report, or separately, if the Committee decides to do so.

Format of Submissions
As a general guideline, submissions should always consist of a separate document accompanied by a covering letter. Submissions should be presented as concisely as possible addressing each head individually and suggest amendments including the rationale for each. The covering letter should contain your name and contact details (phone number and postal address and, if available, an email address). If the submission is on behalf of an organisation, you should indicate your position in the organisation.  

The main document should contain the following information:

  1. A brief introduction, for example, explaining your area of expertise;
  2. Any factual information that you have to offer from which the Committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other parties for their reactions;
  3. Any recommendations to the Committee which should be as specific as possible and should be summarised at the end of the document; and
  4. An executive summary of the main points made in the submission, if your document is more than 10 pages long.

As already indicated, submissions should, where possible, be made by electronic means and it is not necessary to also forward a hard copy of your submission.

Making a submission is a public process

The Committee is not obliged to accept your document once it has been submitted, nor is it obliged to publish any or all of the submission if it has been accepted. However, the operations of a parliament are a public process, and you should be aware that any submissions made to a Committee may be published either as part of a Committee report, or separately, if the Committee decides to do so.

A more detailed document outlining the guidelines for making a written submission is available from the Clerk to the Committee or by clicking here: Making Submissions and Presentations to Oireachtas Committees.

View Heads of the Bill, Policy Rationale and Briefing Note (via Department website).

Members of the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality
David Stanton [Chairman]
Anne Ferris [Vice-Chairman]
Niall Collins, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Alan Farrell, Seán Kenny, Pádraig MacLochlainn, Finian McGrath and John Paul Phelan

Senators: Ivana Bacik, Martin Conway, Tony Mulcahy, Rónán Mullen, Denis O’Donovan and Katherine Zappone.    

Closing Date

The closing date for receipt of submissions is Friday 28th February 2014 at 3p.m.

Should you have any queries in relation to this matter, please contact

Alan Guidon
Clerk to the Committee
01 618 3899


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