Bail (Amendment) Bill 2016: Instruction to Committee (Resumed)

The following motion was moved by Deputy David Stanton on Tuesday, 4 April 2017:
That, pursuant to Standing Order 200, Standing Order 154 is modified to provide that it be an instruction to the Select Committee on Justice and Equality that it has power to make provision in the Bail (Amendment) Bill 2016 in relation to:
(a) the Criminal Justice Act 1984, Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996, Criminal Justice Act 2007 and Criminal Justice Act 2011, of a technical and drafting nature, to update cross references within the Acts; and
(b) the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 for detention and release arrangements where an arrested person is intoxicated to such an extent as would give rise to a reasonable apprehension that the person might be a danger to self or others;
and to change the title of the Bill and make other consequential amendments required to take account of the changes above.

I re-emphasise that it is unsatisfactory that members of the Committee on Justice and Equality who are meeting tomorrow at 9 a.m. are being asked to deal with wholly new amendments in respect of the Bail (Amendment) Bill. The amendments are such that the Tánaiste has seen fit to amend the Title of the legislation, and instead of the Bail (Amendment) Bill, we will now be dealing with a Criminal Justice Act 2017 if it gets through the Houses of the Oireachtas. The Minister of State, Deputy David Stanton, gave two reasons for the urgency that has been inputted into this matter. First, the Garda Commissioner has requested that consideration be given to making statutory provision for detention under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 of individuals who are severely intoxicated. The Minister of State has also said that it is the Tánaiste's wish that these provisions be commenced sooner rather than later. These may be genuine objectives on the part of the Garda Commissioner and the Tánaiste but it is unsatisfactory that such significant amendments and such changes to legislation are being made in this way. Notwithstanding that, it is important that we get on with our business tomorrow morning at the Committee on Justice and Equality. I will deal with the substance of the amendments tomorrow morning, should this motion be approved. I express my dissatisfaction and that of Fianna Fáil with the manner in which this has been dealt with.

I also express our dissatisfaction at the way this has been handled. We are not talking about minor technical amendments but amendments which will change the very nature and Title of the Bill. While I recognise the fact the Minister did flag on Second Stage her intention to bring forward these amendments, it is unfortunate that less than 12 hours before the committee meeting, we are dealing with a motion to allow that to happen. We are not dealing with the amendments tonight but the motion to allow the Minister to bring forward the amendments tomorrow. We will support the passing of the motion and deal with the amendments tomorrow at the committee meeting.

Question put and agreed to.
The Dáil adjourned at 9.50 p.m. until 12 noon on Wednesday, 5 April 2017.