The Committee on Justice invites written submissions from interested groups or individuals on the Dying with Dignity Bill 2020. These submissions will be considered as part of the Committee scrutiny of the Bill.

Committee scrutiny of a Bill is a separate process that takes place before Committee Stage. The purpose of Committee scrutiny is to assess the Bill from a policy, legal and financial perspective with a view to recommending whether the Bill should proceed to Committee Stage or not.

The Committee undertakes scrutiny in accordance with the Framework for Committee Scrutiny of PMBs (Private Members' Bills) set out at Appendix 1 below, which involves the assessment of responses to 20 specific questions as they relate to the Bill. Written submissions should focus on the provisions of the Bill in response to the 20 questions in the Framework.

Note: The Committee is assessing the Bill which is currently before it and not any other document.

Closing date

The closing date for receipt of submissions is 12 noon on Friday, 29 January 2021.

How to send your submission

Please email an electronic document (searchable PDF or equivalent) to

Please do not send hard copies of your submission, as this may cause confusion and duplication.

Please do not send your submission to individual committee members. The Clerk will ensure all members receive copies of all submissions.

What to include in your submission

Your submission should comprise the submission document and a separate covering letter. This allows the Committee to publish your submission without your contact details.

In the covering letter, please include:
  • your name, email address and contact telephone number
  • if the submission is on behalf of an organisation, your position in the organisation
  • a brief outline of why you are making the submission
  • an indication of whether you would be willing to appear in public session at a Committee meeting
In the submission document, please include:
  • a brief introduction, for example, explaining your area of expertise
  • your views and comments on each section of the Bill as they relate to the questions set out in the Framework for Committee Scrutiny of PMBs (see Appendix 1)
  • 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
  • links to any publications you refer to; there is no need to send such publications as attachments
  • any recommendations to the committee; be as specific as possible and summarise your recommendations at the end of the document
  • if your document is more than 10 pages long, an executive summary of the main points made in the submission

Please remember to number your pages.

Tips on writing your submission

Please structure your submission document in a way which reflects the Framework for Committee Scrutiny of PMBs (see Appendix 1).

Keep your submission concise and to the point. Please do not include any unnecessary or superfluous material that does not relate directly to the topic.

If you refer to other publications, include links to the publications. There is no need to send them as attachments.

Please remember to number your pages.

If you would like more detailed guidance on writing your submission, please contact the Clerk to the Committee.

Important information

The Committee cannot consider submissions which deal with matters outside its remit.

The Committee cannot consider submissions which deal with individual cases.

Submissions sent to any other email address may not be accepted.

Anonymous submissions cannot be accepted and will be rejected.

Petitions and form letters may not be accepted or published.

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.

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 including your identity may be published either as part of a Committee report, or separately, if the Committee decides to do so.


Before making your submission, please read our privacy statement.


Clerk to the Committee
Alan Guidon
(01) 618 3899


Appendix 1

Framework for Committee Scrutiny of PMBs

PART A: Policy and Legislative Analysis

The ‘policy Issue’ and the policy and legislative context

1. Define the problem/the policy issue which the Bill is designed to address; to what extent is it an issue requiring attention? What is the scale of the problem and who is affected? What is the evidence base for the Bill?

2. What is the current policy and legislative context, including are there any proposed Government Bills or general schemes designed to address the issue? Have there been previous attempts to address the issue via legislation?

3. Is there a wider EU/international context?

Implications and implementation of the Bill’s proposals

Policy implications/implementation

4. How is the approach taken in the Bill likely to best address the policy issue?

5. What alternative and/or additional policy, legislative and non-legislative approaches were considered, including those proposed by the Government and what, does the evidence suggest, are the differences between and the merits of each?

6. Are there Government-sponsored Bills (or General Schemes) which are related to and/or broadly aim to address the same issue? Are there merits in combining them?

7. What are the specific policy implications of each proposal contained within the Bill (environmental/economic/social/legal)? Has an impact assessment (environmental/economic/social/legal) been published (by Government or a third party) in respect of each proposal contained within the Bill?

8. Could the Bill, as drafted, have unintended policy consequences, if enacted?

9. Has the Committee taken due consideration of the opinion of the European Central Bank (ECB) on the Bill, if applicable?

10. How would the Bill, if enacted, be implemented?

11. Are there appropriate performance indicators which the Department, or whoever is ultimately charged with implementing the Bill, can use to assess the extent to which it meets its objective? Does it include formal review mechanisms?

Cost evaluation

12. Will there be enforcement or compliance costs?

13. What are the likely financial costs of implementing the proposals in the Bill, and what is the likely overall fiscal impact on the exchequer?

14. Have cost-benefit analyses (CBA) been provided/published (by Government or a third party) in respect of each proposal contained within the Bill? Will benefits/costs impact on some groups/stakeholders more than others?


PART B - Legal Analysis

15. Is the draft PMB compatible with the Constitution (including the ‘principles and policies’ test)?

16. Is the draft PMB compatible with EU legislation and human rights legislation (ECHR)?

17. Is there ambiguity in the drafting which could lead to the legislation not achieving its objectives and/or to case law down the line?

18. Are there serious drafting deficiencies or technical drafting errors (e.g. incorrect referencing to Acts etc.)?

19. Are there potential unintended legal consequences which may stem from the PMB as drafted?

20. Are appropriate administrative and legal arrangements necessary for compliance and enforcement of the provisions of the Bill included? (e.g. if draft Bill contains a prohibition, whether the necessary criminal sanctions - including the class of fine - are included).