Written Answers. - Journalists Privilege Claims.

John Bruton

Question:

52 Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Justice the proposals, if any, she has to change the law to allow journalists to claim privilege in order to refuse to answer questions before a tribunal established by Dáil Éireann. [879/94]

A report by the Law Reform Commission, which was published last week on the subject of Contempt of Court makes a number of recommendations regarding tribunals. These include a recommendation that legislation should provide that a person may only be required to disclose the source of information contained in a publication for which he or she is responsible if it is established to the satisfaction of the tribunal of inquiry that disclosure is absolutely necessary for the purpose of the inquiry or to protect the constitutional rights of any person.

The report will require detailed study and examination by my Department. Any proposals for changes in the law which may emerge from this examination will be announced in due course in the usual way.