Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011: Report Stage (Resumed)

We will resume consideration of the Bill on amendment No. 3.

Amendments Nos. 2 to 6 were discussed, but only No. 2 was decided.

I move amendment No. 3:

In page 10, to delete lines 34 to 36 and substitute the following:

“ “legal services” means legal services provided by a person, whether as a solicitor or as a barrister;”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 4:

In page 11, to delete lines 1 to 3 and substitute the following:

“ “practising barrister” means a person who—

(a) is a qualified barrister, and

(b) provides, or holds himself or herself out as providing, legal services as a barrister—

(i) whether or not for a fee,

(ii) whether or not under a contract of service or a contract for services, and

(iii) whether or not, in so doing, he or she describes himself or herself as a, or otherwise uses the title of, “barrister”, “barrister-at-law” or “counsel”;”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 5:

In page 11, to delete lines 13 to 15 and substitute the following:

“ “professional code” means any code of conduct, code of practice, rule, regulation, practice note, guideline or other code, including any part thereof, relating to the provision of legal services by its members—

(a) that has been adopted by or on behalf of a professional body, or

(b) to which members of a professional body, as a condition of their membership of that body, are otherwise subject;

“qualified barrister” means a person who—

(a) has been admitted by the Honorable Society of King’s Inns to the degree of Barrister-at-Law or has been called to the Bar of Ireland, other than where, subsequent to his or her being admitted to that degree or being so called—

(i) he or she has been admitted as a solicitor,

(ii) he or she has been disbarred by the Benchers of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns, where that disbarment remains in effect, or

(iii) his or her name has been struck off the roll of practising barristers or the roll of solicitors by the High Court, which order remains in effect,

or

(b) is a registered lawyer, having the same right of audience as a practising barrister or a solicitor qualified to practise by virtue of Regulation 10 of the European Communities (Lawyers’ Establishment) Regulations 2003 (S.I. No. 732 of 2003);”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 6:

In page 11, between lines 30 and 31, to insert the following:

“(4) For the purposes of this Act—

(a) a person provides legal services as a solicitor where he or she acts as a solicitor, as that term is construed under the Solicitors Acts 1954 to 2011,

and

(b) a person provides legal services as a barrister where he or she does one or more than one of the following:

(i) in relation to proceedings before a court, tribunal or forum for arbitration, whether in the State or in another jurisdiction, or the Personal Injuries Assessment Board—

(I) represents another person before that court, tribunal, forum or Board in those proceedings,

(II) prosecutes or defends such proceedings on behalf of another person,

(III) advises another person in relation to the conduct of the proceedings,

(IV) represents and advises another person for the purposes of arriving at or giving effect to any settlement in the proceedings, or

(V) draws or drafts documents for another person in contemplation of, ancillary to or in connection with, those proceedings,

(ii) provides legal advice to another person;

(iii) draws or drafts legal documents for another person that have the purpose of securing or transferring for a person a legal right or entitlement;

(iv) represents or acts for another person in a situation where legal rights or obligations of a person are being, or are likely to be, created or such rights or obligations are, or are likely to be, in dispute.”.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments Nos. 7 to 11, inclusive, 11a, 49f and 50a will be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 7:

In page 13, to delete lines 5 to 37, and in page 14, to delete lines 1 to 18 and substitute the following:

“8. (1) The Authority shall consist of 13 members.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this section, the members of the Authority shall be appointed by the Government and shall consist of the following persons:

(a) 3 persons nominated by the Law Society of Ireland;

(b) 2 persons nominated by the Bar Council of Ireland;

(c) 1 Judge of the Superior Courts nominated by the Chief Justice;

(d) 1 person nominated by the Irish Business and Employers’ Confederation;

(e) 1 person nominated by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions;

(f) 1 person nominated by the National Consumer Council;

(g) 1 person nominated by the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC);

(h) 1 person selected by the Chief Justice from such persons as are nominated by non-profit legal advocacy groups, as defined in subsection (6), operating in the State. For such purpose each such group shall be entitled to nominate one person for selection;

(i) 1 legal cost accountant nominated by the Institute of Legal Cost Accountants;

(j) 1 person selected by the Chief Justice from such persons as are nominated by legal education institutions, as defined in subsection (7), operating in the State. For such purposes each such legal education institution shall be entitled to nominate one such person for selection.

(3) The Authority shall, from time to time, elect one of its members, who is not a member of the legal profession, to be Chairperson of the Authority.

(4) The Chairperson shall hold office as Chairperson for such term as may be specified by the Authority at the time of his or her appointment, unless—

(a) he or she ceases to be or becomes disqualified or is removed from being a member of the Authority,

(b) he or she resigns as Chairperson and the resignation becomes effective under the following subsection, or

(c) the Authority by a resolution, for which not less than nine members of the Authority vote, and of the intention to propose which not less than 7 days notice is given to every member of the Authority, terminates the appointment of the Chairperson.

(5) The Chairperson of the Authority may at any time resign from that office by giving notice in writing to the Authority but the resignation shall not take effect until/before the meeting next held by the Authority after the receipt by the Authority of the notice of resignation.

(6) A “non-profit legal advocacy group” includes, for the purposes of subsection (2)(h) the Northside Community Law Centre, the Irish Council of Civil Liberties and any such other non-profit legal advocacy group as is designated by order made by the Minister under section 3 of this Act.

(7) A legal education institution is, for the purposes of subsection (2)(i), including a University as provided for in the Universities Act 1997, the Law Society of Ireland, the Honourable Society of King’s Inns and such other institutions of legal education and training as designated by order made by the Minister under this Act.

(8) Without prejudice to the generality of the other provisions of this Act relating to membership of the Authority, the Government may not refuse to appoint as a member of the Authority a person nominated under subsection (2).

(9) Subject to this Act, a member of the Authority shall hold office for a period of 4 years from the date of his or her appointment.

(10) A person may not be appointed to be a member of the Authority for more than 2 consecutive terms but is otherwise eligible for reappointment.

(11) A member of the Authority may at any time resign from office by letter addressed to the Chief Executive of the Authority, and the resignation shall take effect on the date specified in the letter or the date the letter is received by the Chief Executive of the Authority, whichever date is the later.

(12) A member of the Authority shall, unless he or she sooner dies, becomes disqualified, resigns, is removed from office or otherwise ceases to be a member, hold office as such member until the expiry of his or her term of office.

(13) Each member of the Authority shall—

(a) hold office on a part-time basis and on such other terms (other than payment of remuneration and allowances for expenses) as the Public Appointments Commission shall determine, and

(b) be paid by the Authority, out of the resources at its disposal, such remuneration (if any) and allowances for expenses (if any) as the Authority may, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, determine.

(14) The Oireachtas may, for stated reasons, remove a member of the Authority from office if, in the opinion of the Oireachtas—

(a) the member has become incapable through ill health of effectively performing the functions of his office,

(b) the member has committed stated misbehaviour, or

(c) the member has a conflict of interest of such significance that, in the opinion of the Oireachtas, he or she should cease to hold office.

(15) A person shall be disqualified from holding and shall cease to hold office as a member of the Authority if he or she—

(a) is adjudged bankrupt,

(b) is convicted on indictment of an offence, excluding former political prisoners including those who qualified for release under the 1998 Good Friday Agreement,

(c) is convicted of an offence involving dishonesty,

(d) is struck off the roll of solicitors or practising barristers or, following a complaint against him or her, is found guilty of misconduct,

(e) has a declaration under section 150 of the Companies Act 1990 made against him or her or is subject or is deemed to be subject to a disqualification order by virtue of Part VII of that Act, or

(f) ceases to be ordinarily resident in the State.

(16) Where a member of the Authority dies, becomes disqualified from holding office, resigns, is removed from office or otherwise ceases to be a member, the Government shall appoint a member to fill the resultant vacancy and in filling such vacancy shall appoint a person nominated by the person or body that nominated the person occasioning the vacancy.

(17) A person who is appointed to be a member of the Authority under subsection (16) shall hold office for the remainder of the term of office of the member occasioning the casual vacancy.

(18) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Authority may act notwithstanding one or more vacancies in its membership.

(19) In appointing members of the Authority regard shall be had to the objective to there being no fewer than 4 members who are men and no fewer than 4 members who are women.”.

This revisits discussions we had on Committee Stage. This Bill has dragged on for a number of years and there has been extensive input from various stakeholders around the make-up of the new authority. The amendment reflects the perspective I have heard from key stakeholders. There is a range of experience, and there should be a balance of people from the legal fraternity and people from the lay fraternity who have relevant expertise and who could make a real contribution. In terms of a new dispensation and giving the new authority a clear, strong, independent footing from the beginning, but also having representation from the legal fraternity, this is a better proposition than that offered initially by the former Minister, Deputy Alan Shatter.

I have considered the proposed Opposition amendments, Nos. 7 to 11, relating to the modalities of the appointment of the new legal services regulatory authority. I think the Deputy will agree that these amendments remain pretty much as put forward before. They do not give due recognition to the enhancements made by the Government to the legislation and to the committee discussion at which these concerns were outlined. The relevant enhancements made on Committee Stage met the core concerns about the appointment procedures of the new authority which were on the table at that time - namely, how authority members would now be nominated independently of the Government. Authority members will now be nominated independently of the Government, and we are also setting out their terms and maximum duration of office, including the modalities of resignation, removal and disqualification, and the filling of temporary vacancies.

The election of a lay chair and the gender balance of the authority's overall membership have also been consolidated into the text, which has also been adjusted, for example, to take account of the destigmatisation of bankruptcy under the Government's insolvency reforms. The group of amendments being tabled does not adequately take into account the intervening developments of the Bill on Committee Stage in the Dáil, and they remain in essence as positioned by the Bar Council in its document of 12 March. Regarding the Opposition amendments, this is particularly the case for the duplicate amendments Nos. 7 and 8, which set out a series of similar criteria for the establishment and membership of the new legal services regulatory authority with some variations from what is provided for in the Bill under section 8.

Having reviewed the intervening development of the Bill and the key qualitative improvements made regarding the appointments to the new legal services regulatory authority, I do not believe there are any fundamental disparities remaining in how the Bill deals with the issues concerned. The safeguards in the Bill, and those reflected in today's reiterated Opposition amendments, therefore, reflect a series of common concerns which have been met substantially under the Bill as it stands. The reconfiguration of section 8 of the Bill on Committee Stage put to rest the initial concerns raised upon the publication of the Bill about the independence of the authority from ministerial or Government interference. There will be no Government appointments, lay, legal or official, to the authority, which makes it more robustly independent in this regard than it would be, for example, under today's Opposition amendment No. 9, which would allow the Government to appoint the lay members. The authority, as a statutory regulator, would also be independent of the Judiciary in its appointment, as befits the fact that under the Bill's independent professional conduct regime, proceedings may come before the High Court which retain key functions regarding the termination of matters of professional conduct by legal practitioners. Taking into account the obvious virtues of independence of the Government and Judiciary, I do not see merit in amendments Nos. 9 and 10.

Members of both Houses will welcome the fact that section 8 of the Bill provides that members of the authority shall be appointed only following the passing of a resolution approving such appointments by both the Dáil and the Seanad. This important model safeguard provision is consistent with the highest international standard. The proposed amendment No. 11 has been made redundant by the fact that the lay membership of the new regulatory authority is to be appointed by means of the external nominating bodies to which I have already referred. I have given consideration to the possible addition of further members to the new legal service regulatory authority, including in light of earlier discussions on Committee Stage.

The authority is to be a regulator of the provision of legal services in the State by legal practitioners and, therefore, is not an entity of the social partnership model. The authority is to have a membership of 11 members with a lay majority. The six lay nominees will be drawn from the Citizens' Information Board - which everybody will welcome - the Higher Education Authority, the Competition Authority, the recently merged Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, IHREC, whose title under section 8(4) will be updated in the Seanad, the Institute of Legal Costs Accountants and the Consumers' Association of Ireland. It is very important that consumers have representation on the legal regulatory authority. If I were to add even more lay members, and a further two legal representatives, we would move towards a much more administratively cumbersome body of approximately 15 people. The balance of interest between the legal profession and the consumers of legal services at the levels of the individual community and enterprise can be met and regulated effectively and most efficiently under the current configuration of 11 members. I do not intend to enlarge the membership of the authority beyond this, in order to ensure that it will be an efficient body that gets on with the job that has to be done and makes decisions.

Great care has been taken in ensuring the concerns that have been expressed since the publication of the Bill about the independence of the new regulatory regime in its appointment and functions have been addressed. Only a slight difference of emphasis remains between the proposals being put forward today and the Bill's current provisions regarding this area of the Bill, and I hope, in light of the points I have made and the considerable enhancements, including in particular the very important point about independence, that the Deputies will withdraw amendments Nos. 7 to 11, inclusive.

The first of the next group of amendments, tabled by Deputy Catherine Murphy, amendment No. 11a, seeks to preclude any person who is served with the Solicitor's Disciplinary Tribunal, the Barristers' Professional Conduct Tribunal or its appeals board from becoming a member of the authority. Similarly, amendment No. 49f seeks to preclude any barrister who has served on the Bar Council or any of its permanent or non-permanent committees from becoming a member of the committee being established under section 44 of the Bill to review complaints about inadequate services. Amendment No. 50a also seeks to preclude any barrister who has served on the Bar Council or a Bar Council committee, the Barristers' Professional Conduct Tribunal or the Barristers' Professional Conduct Appeals Board from eligibility for the chairmanship of the new legal practitioners' disciplinary tribunal, as set out under the terms of section 63 of the Bill.

While I can see that the amendments seek to put maximum distance between the workings of the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal and Bar Council and those of the new regulatory entities concerned, they would, by the same token, be likely to exclude many people with relevant experience. This is by virtue of the fact that the amendments, if implemented, would exclude a very large number of barristers and solicitors from participating in the capacities concerned, including some who would have relevant experience in the types of complaint and disciplinary procedure involved. Over the years, a large number of legal practitioners would have held office or served on such tribunals or committees, and it remains desirable that they could be drawn from to enable the new regulatory architecture to function effectively. This is acceptable. Under section 63 of the Bill, the chair of the legal practitioners' disciplinary tribunal may, under the specific criteria set out, be a lawyer or a non-lawyer. The chair, whether a lay person, a solicitor or a barrister, will be appointed by the President of the High Court for a five-year term, once renewable, from the list of persons nominated by the Minister for membership of the tribunal.

In light of these safeguards already in place and the very practical considerations that clearly arise regarding the availability of suitable candidates for membership of the committee and the position of chair of the disciplinary tribunal, I cannot accept amendments Nos. 11a, 49f or 50a. I hope my detailed explanation, particularly regarding the first set of amendments, illustrates that we have taken on board and dealt with the concerns that were expressed on Committee Stage.

While there have been some improvements, the Minister has not accepted the proposal that there be 13 members on the authority, which would give her scope for including very relevant organisations. If she is arguing that ICTU and IBEC do not need to be there because it is not a social partnership model, why would she exclude organisations such as the Free Legal Advice Centres, FLAC, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, ICCL, and the Northside Community Law Centre, which are not-for-profit organisations that are advocates? Why not widen the participation of those organisations? While I welcome the inclusion of IHREC, there is a deficit. Given that the Bill will also go before the Seanad, the Minister could consider widening the board to 13 and making provision for a number of those advocacy groups. If the Minister cannot accept the amendment here and how, I ask her to reflect on it. Although the Legal Aid Board is included, the omission of FLAC and ICCL is serious. I ask the Minister to reconsider it.

I have set out the case relating to the effective size of an authority and what our belief is in that regard. Anybody would accept that the bodies on it represent a very broad range of groups and concerns. Obviously, it is important that the legal profession is represented, as well as consumers and those with specialist knowledge. The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission brings a wealth of experience to the board in respect of citizens' rights and basic equality. I have explained in considerable detail why we have taken this direction with regard to representation and I believe that, as currently constituted, the balance of interests is well represented on the regulatory authority. It is not exclusive and does not exclude any particular perspective. It brings a broad range of perspectives to bear on decision making. Ultimately, we wish to have an authority that works effectively and efficiently and that has the numbers that will lead to good decision making. I am satisfied that the current approach achieves that.

One of the issues this Bill was supposed to deal with - in which it has not succeeded, although amendments have been made - was the cost of accessing justice for citizens. One of the challenges for the legal fraternity in terms of its reputation is to look increasingly at its role as an advocate for citizens in terms of their rights and to ensure there is affordable access to the legal system and a change in how we conduct law in this country from the archaic, very expensive and, arguably, elitist judicial system, as some people perceive it. I have much admiration for people in the legal fraternity, but there are perceptions, which are sometimes the reality, about how the system has worked.

It is a serious omission. The Minister could easily increase the number on the board to 13, an argument I made to the Minister's predecessor, and provide a place at the table for organisations such as the Free Legal Advice Centres, which are strongly respected, the ICCL and other groups that are champions or advocates for the citizen and that challenge all of us in terms of how the administration of justice works. Having people of that calibre on the authority could only strengthen it. They would be alternative voices. I ask the Minister to consider seriously the error of not including them on this board for the sake of two extra places. The Minister argues that ICTU and IBEC need not be on the authority because it is not a social partnership model, and I reluctantly accept that point. However, I do not understand why she cannot include the advocacy organisations that are so respected in the community and that could bring a dynamic to the authority that does not exist based on the current membership.

How stands the amendment?

Perhaps the Minister could respond.

It is Report Stage, so the Minister has concluded and you have just replied. Are you pressing the amendment?

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 29; Níl, 48.

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Colreavy, Michael.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McDonald, Mary Lou.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Mathews, Peter.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Fearghaíl, Seán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Níl

  • Bannon, James.
  • Barry, Tom.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Conaghan, Michael.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Conway, Ciara.
  • Coonan, Noel.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Gilmore, Eamon.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lyons, John.
  • McCarthy, Michael.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Maloney, Eamonn.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Nolan, Derek.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Mahony, John.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Rabbitte, Pat.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Twomey, Liam.
  • Wall, Jack.
  • Walsh, Brian.
  • White, Alex.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Pádraig Mac Lochlainn and Sandra McLellan; Níl, Deputies John Lyons and Paul Kehoe.
Amendment declared lost.

Amendments Nos. 8 to 11, inclusive, in the name of Deputy Niall Collins, cannot be moved as the Deputy is not present in the Chamber.

Amendments Nos. 8 to 11, inclusive, not moved.

Amendment No. 11a, in the name of Deputy Catherine Murphy, has already been discussed with amendment No. 7. Is the Deputy pressing the amendment?

I move amendment No. 11a:

In page 14, between lines 2 and 3, to insert the following:

"(5) A person shall not be eligible for appointment to the Authority if that person has served as a member of the Solicitor’s Disciplinary Tribunal, the Barristers’ Professional Conduct Tribunal or the Barristers Professional Conduct Appeal Board at any time in the five years preceding the date of appointment.".

This amendment was not really discussed earlier. It seeks to ensure no member of the authority will have a conflict of interest arising from the administration of the tribunals. It is hard to conceive of how an authority could realistically exercise its statutory functions if members of the board had intimate knowledge of prior cases. I ask the Minister to consider that aspect of the matter.

I ask the Deputy to state whether she intends to press this amendment. I cannot really allow her to speak on it because it has already been discussed. I am sorry she was not here at the time. Is the amendment being pressed?

I will have to press it in that context. Perhaps I will be able to talk to the Minister in the meantime.

I am concerned about fairness and the same thing applies to amendments Nos. 49 and 50. It is about bringing another level of fairness and trust into the proceedings of the authority. Part of the reason for the amendment is to ensure members of a disciplinary tribunal which reviews disciplinary determinations are not conflicted by having been involved in disciplinary matters prior to the enactment of the legislation.

I do not think the proposals are unfair. If the Minister were to consider the amendment and to allow me a conversation about it I would not press it.

We cannot have that debate. Is the amendment being pressed?

In that context I will have to press it.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 11; Níl, 54.

  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • Mathews, Peter.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Níl

  • Bannon, James.
  • Barry, Tom.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Conway, Ciara.
  • Coonan, Noel.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Costello, Joe.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Gilmore, Eamon.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lyons, John.
  • McCarthy, Michael.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGinley, Dinny.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Nolan, Derek.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Mahony, John.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Rabbitte, Pat.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Twomey, Liam.
  • Wall, Jack.
  • Walsh, Brian.
  • White, Alex.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Catherine Murphy and Mick Wallace; Níl, Deputies John Lyons and Paul Kehoe.
Amendment declared lost.

Amendments Nos. 12 to 18, inclusive; Nos 84 to 86, inclusive; and Nos. 88 to 90, inclusive, are related and will discussed together.

I move amendment No. 12:

In page 15, line 31, to delete "he or she".

This is a technical amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 13:

In page 15, line 32, to delete "is convicted" and substitute "he or she is convicted".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 14:

In page 15, line 33, to delete "is convicted" and substitute "he or she is convicted".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 15:

In page 15, line 34, after "practitioner," to insert "his or her name".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 16:

In page 15, line 36, to delete "Part 6," and substitute "Part 6, he or she".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 17:

In page 16, line 2, to delete "has a declaration" and substitute "he or she has a declaration".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 18:

In page 16, line 5, to delete "ceases" and substitute "he or she ceases".

Amendment agreed to.
Amendments Nos. 19 to 27, inclusive, not moved.

I move amendment No. 28:

In page 17, line 27, after "Council" to insert "and the Honorable Society of King's Inns".

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 29:

In page 17, line 36, after "Council" to insert "and the Honorable Society of King’s Inns".

Amendment agreed to.
Amendment No. 30 not moved.

Amendments Nos. 30a, 49e, 63, 64, 80b, 81, 81a and 82 are related and will be discussed together. Amendment No. 81a is consequential on amendment No. 81 and amendment No. 81 is a physical alternative to amendment No. 80b.

I move amendment No. 30a:

In page 19, between lines 22 and 23, to insert the following:

"(10) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the Authority shall not distinguish between barristers who are members of the Law Library and barristers who are not members of the Law Library and barristers who are members of a professional body other than the Bar Council.".

It is intended that the new Bill will give the authority the power to distinguish between barristers who purchase services from the Law Library and those who do not. In many ways, that is not very fair. In particular, the Bill will force non-Law Library barristers to be individually liable for paying levies under section 79 and they will be disbarred if they default. It is important to be clear that membership of the Bar Council as a professional body should be distinguished from that of the Law Library. We are giving both voluntary private organisations significant statutory functions under this Bill. Amendment No. 30a intends to draw attention to that and to ensure there is a fair arrangement for people who are not members of the Bar Council.

Debate adjourned.