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Seanad Éireann debate -
Thursday, 11 Jun 1964

Vol. 57 No. 13

Courts Bill, 1963—Committee and Final Stages.

Sections 1 to 5, inclusive, agreed to.
Government amendment No. 1:
In subsection (1) (a), lines 29 to 31, to delete "served notice of his intention to do so on the accused or the Attorney General, as the case may be," and to substitute "notified the accused or the Attorney General, as the case may be, of the application,".

The object of this amendment is to make it unnecessary to have notice of the intention to apply for a transfer of trial formally served on the Attorney General or on the accused, as the case may be, by the means prescribed in the Circuit Court Rules, that is to say, by personal service, or by delivery at the residence or place of business of the person concerned, or by sending the notice by prepaid post addressed to the person at his last known residence or place of business. It will be sufficient for the Attorney General or the accused to be notified by any means of communication whatever. Such informality is desirable from the point of view of the accused, who may be in custody and not legally represented.

There is a lot to be said for this amendment. The section as it stood visualises a formal notice that would be served I suppose by post or by personal service. On the other hand, the amendment substitutes any sort of notification. I suppose it is possible that there could be a misunderstanding about that but in the event of such a misunderstanding the accused would get the benefit.

I would say so, but I would also like to point out to the Senator that this is not, of course, final. The Circuit Court judge will still have discretion.

I think the amendment is acceptable.

I suppose that in the course of time "by any means whatever" will have a judicial meaning.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 6, as amended, agreed to.
Government amendment no. 2:
In subsection (6) (a) (iii), page 5, line 5, to delete "seven" and to substitute "ten".

This is another practical matter. Senators will be aware that this subsection deals with the mode of proving service by registered post. It provides specifically that the statutory declaration shall include a statement that the envelope has not been returned undelivered to the sender. To allow time for the return of the envelope to the sender if undelivered, it is provided that the statutory declaration shall not be made until 7 days at least after the posting of the envelope. We are now advised by the Post Office authorities that, in exceptional circumstances and particularly if the name and address of the sender do not appear on the envelope, the return may take up to 10 days. The amendment proposed is necessary to cover this eventuality.

If the name and address of the sender do not appear on the envelope——

Return to sender. If the envelope——

If the envelope does not contain the name of the sender——

It could, of course, be delayed for other reasons.

I am sure the Minister has looked into this, but it occurred to me that some documents have to be lodged with the county registrar within a certain number of days, and if the statutory declaration cannot be made within ten days after the document has been posted, I should imagine there might be a case where you could not comply with the existing rules.

I believe not.

I have not checked it, and if the Minister tells me he has, that is quite all right.

I shall ask the various Rules Committees to look into it.

Amendment agreed to.
Government amendment No. 3:
In subsection (6) (a) (iii), page 5, line 7, to delete "registration" and to substitute "posting".

This is a drafting amendment. I understand the official title of the document referred to is "certificate of posting" and not "certificate of registration". It is gobbledygook at its best.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 7, as amended, agreed to.
Section 8 agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments.
Agreed to take remaining stages today.
Bill received for final consideration and passed.