Statute Law Revision Bill, 1981: Committee and Final Stages.

Sections 1 to 3, inclusive, agreed to.
SCHEDULE.

I should like to point out to Members that there is a printing error in the green list of amendments circulated on 27 January 1983 wherein in amendment No. 1 the word "judicial" was misspelled. I might point out also that amendments Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 to the Schedule are related and may be discussed together by agreement.

, Limerick East): I move amendment No. 1:

In page 17, before the entry beginning with "4 & 5 Will. 4. c. 67." to insert the following:

3 & 4 Will. 4. c. 41.

Judicial Committee Act, 1833. [Not applicable. Relates to Privy Council.]

The whole Act.

This amendment to the Schedule of Statutes which are proposed for repeal is required to include an enactment which was omitted inadvertently from the Schedule when the Bill was being drafted.

Amendments Nos. 2, 3 and 5 are required for similar purposes in respect of three further enactments which are appropriate for repeal.

Amendment agreed to.

(Limerick East): I move amendment No. 2:

In page 19, before the entry beginning with "7 & 8 Vict. c. 107." to insert the following:

6 & 7 Vict. c. 38.

Judicial Committee Acts, 1843. [Not applicable. Relates to Privy Council.]

The whole Act.

7 & 8 Vict. c. 69.

Judicial Committee Act, 1844. [Not applicable. Relates to Privy Council.]

The whole Act.

Amendment agreed to.

(Limerick East): I move amendment No. 3:

In page 25, before the entry beginning with "51 & 52 Vict. c. 29." to insert the following:

50 & 51 Vict. c. 70.

Appellate Jurisdiction Act, 1887. [Not applicable. Refers to House of Lords.]

The whole Act.

Amendment agreed to.

(Limerick East): I move amendment No. 4:

In page 26, to delete the following:

62 & 63 Vict. c. 38.

Telegraph Act, 1899. [Obsolete.]

The whole Act.

This amendment is required to delete reference to the Telegraph Act, 1899, from the Schedule of Enactments which are proposed for repeal. The repeal of that Act is being dealt with in a Bill which I believe will be restored by the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs.

Amendment agreed to.

(Limerick East): I move amendment No. 5:

In page 28, before the entry beginning with "3 & 4 Geo. 5. c. 24." to insert the following:

3 & 4 Geo. 5. c. 21.

Appellate Jurisdiction Act, 1913. [Not applicable. Refers to House of Lords.]

The whole Act.

Amendment agreed to.

(Limerick East): I move amendment No. 6:

In page 34, to delete the following:

8 & 9 Geo. 5. c. 10.

Post Office Act, 1918. [Obsolete.]

The whole Act.

This amendment is required because the Post Office Act, 1918, has been repealed already by the Post Office and Telegraphs Act, 1920, and was included inadvertently in the Schedule to the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.
Schedule, as amended, agreed to.
Title agreed to.

Acting Chairman

When is it proposed that the Report Stage be taken?

Mr. Noonan

Now.

Acting Chairman

Since there are no amendments on Report Stage, we shall proceed to Fifth Stage.

Question proposed: "That the Bill do now pass".

I am sorry to intervene at this late stage but the Bill passed so quickly that I missed Second Stage. I compliment the Minister and his Department or the Statute Law Revision and Consolidation Office — I am not sure which is to be thanked — not so much for the Bill or the work that lies behind it but for the explanatory memorandum which accompanies it. I have had reason to complain about the expense of printing explanatory memoranda and the uselessness of them because very often they did not tell one what the Bill was about, the reasons which lead to its introduction or the reasons behind a particular section.

The first thing a Deputy or a member of the public wants to know about new law is the reason for it. In the past, explanatory memoranda have all too often been silent on that point. The present memorandum explains the purpose of the Bill. Not only does it do that but it provides in a concise and readable form in about four pages a perfect history of Irish legislation or legislation bearing on Ireland over the last 800 years. I am not aware that such information is to be found in a readily accessible form anywhere else let alone with the authority of the State behind it.

The Minister's Department deserve the thanks of everyone interested in such matters. They have taken the trouble to provide this. I am not a legal historian and I am not competent to say whether their account of Irish legislative history is correct. For all I know there may be points with which a scholar trained in this area might disagree but assuming it is correct it seems to be an excellent, readable and concise account. It ought to be given wider circulation and made available in a form which would make it appropriate as teaching material in introductory courses in our law schools. It may be difficult for a layman to understand this but a great deal of our law is pre-1937. Statute law continued globally in force here subject to consistency with the two successive Constitutions we had but exactly what kind of statute goes into that law is something that even a trained lawyer might find hard to state with exactness. This memorandum attempts to state these matters with exactness.

As I say, I am not competent to judge whether the statement is accurate but I am willing to assume that it is. I thank the Minister, his Department and the Statute Law Revision and Consolidation Office and everybody who was involved in providing such an excellent explanatory memorandum, a very rare occurrence in the public life of the State.

Question put and agreed to.