Courts and Court Officers Bill 2009: Report and Final Stages.

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 4, line 40, after "person" to insert the following:

"who is lawfully in the custody of the Garda Siochána".

This amendment arises out of Committee Stage proceedings. I took the opportunity then to explain the reason for the amendment. The Minister's response on Committee Stage was persuasive and the provision I am trying to make is already catered for in section 6(2). I do not have a great deal of conviction left about this amendment. However, perhaps I should allow the Minister to put his note on the record.

If accepted, section 7 would read: "A prisoner or other person who is lawfully in the custody of the Garda Síochána may be placed in temporary custody". This suggests a person is lawfully in the custody of the Garda Síochána which is the opposite of the actual position. In fact it would constitute a material change as it would have the effect of excluding prisoners in the custody of a governor. I understand what the proposed amendment seeks to achieve. However, it creates the difficulty which I outlined above.

It is possible to avoid the problem by amending the wording to read: "A prisoner or person who is lawfully in the custody of the Garda Síochána". However, for two reasons such an amendment is unnecessary, as Deputy Rabbitte has already pointed out. First, the term "other person" in section 7 clearly means a person in the lawful custody of the Garda Síochána. The only people who can be placed in temporary custody under section 6(1) are prisoners and persons lawfully in the custody of the Garda Síochána under section 6(2). The term "person" is used elsewhere in the Part to mean a person lawfully in the custody of the Garda Síochána under section 8(2) and the amendment to section 9 proposed by the Government. In both cases the cross-reference to section 6(2) makes clear that the person will be lawfully in the custody of the Garda Síochána. In view of these points, the Minister has directed that he is opposed to the Labour Party amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Bill reported, without amendment, received for final consideration and passed.