I will make a general point and will not repeat it. This is not the proper way to hold a debate on Committee Stage. A Bill of this kind should be parsed, analysed and perused in detail to ensure what ends up on the Statute Book is cast-iron. This process creates the possibility that a defect will occur in the Bill. I agree in principle with what is contained in the Bill so we should do the best we can in the time allowed by the Government.
Section 1 refers to a number of the main Acts, namely, the Criminal Law (Rape) Act 1981, the Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1993 and the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2006. One of the main Acts we are amending relates to grooming, which involves amending the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998, but that is not included in the list of Acts in section 1, which begs the question as to why. Is it an indication that portions of the Bill dealing with grooming were a late addition? Would it not be a tidier arrangement to refer to the Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998, which we are now amending following the Fine Gael proposals on grooming? I accept that Act is specifically mentioned in section 6 but it is not a tidy way of doing business.