I move that the Committee agree with the Seanad in amendment No. 1:
SECTION 2: In page 3, paragraph (b), lines 14 and 15, "or omission", deleted.
This is a purely technical amendment. On Report Stage we amended section 2 (b) of the Bill in response to an important point raised by Deputy McDowell. This point arose at the last minute and the draftsman had only a short time to prepare the amendment. At the end of the Report Stage debate Deputy McDowell drew attention to a possible drafting flaw in the 1987 Act and I undertook to look at the matter.
Since then, the matter has been looked at carefully and discussed with the draftsman and there is a drafting inconsistency which the draftsman considers should be rectified. Section 2 (b) of the Bill inserts a new subsection (3) (a) in section 3 of the Extradition (European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism) Act, 1987. In this new subsection (3) (a) as amended on Report Stage reference is made to the act or omission constituting the offence. Because offences can be, on occasion, committed by an omission, it is standard drafting practice to include a reference to omission. However, section 1 (2) of the 1987 Act already provides: "References in this Act to an act include references to an omission and references to the doing of an act include references to the making of an omission." As a result, there is no need for the words "or omission" to be included in subsection (3) (a).
As it now stands the provision, in effect, results in duplication of the reference to omission. If it is retained in its present form it will result in drafting inconsistencies in the 1987 Act as, for example, the definition of a serious offence in section 1 of that Act refers to the act constituting the offence without any specific reference to the words "or omission". To avoid such drafting inconsistencies, and as the point is already covered by section 1 (2) of the 1987 Act, the amendment introduced in Seanad Éireann proposes to delete the words "or omission" from lines 14 and 15 on page 3 of the Bill.