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Seanad Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 4 May 1983

Vol. 100 No. 5

Statute Law Revision Bill, 1981: Committee and Final Stages.

Sections 1 to 3, inclusive, agreed to.
Question proposed: "That the Schedule be the Schedule to the Bill."

I should specify page 14, otherwise the point I want to make would be lost. The note explaining the Habeas Corpus Act, 1816 said it was superseded by Article 40.4 of the Constitution. I would like to ask the Minister whether he would share with us the advice he received with regard to whether the grounds under which habeas corpus could be applied for under the 1816 Act are identical with the grounds on which habeas corpus exists under Article 40.4 of the Constitution, or are we limiting in some way, or reducing the right to habeas corpus by depending only on the Constitution? Are we taking away some of the statutory entitlement to habeas corpus which previously existed?

Limerick East): As I understand it, we are simply doing what I said in my Second Stage speech. Section 2 is a saving section. Repeals will not affect any existing principle or rule of law or equity or any established jurisdiction, or form a course of pleading, practice or procedure notwithstanding that it might have been derived from or recognised by an enactment repealed. Likewise, subsection (2) provides that any enactment not listed for repeal in the Bill, which has been confirmed, reviewed or perpetrated by an enactment which is being repealed shall not be affected by such repeal. The safeguards are already in existence as a consequence of section 21 (1) of the Interpretation Act, 1937. The specific point raised would be covered by the saving section.

Question put and agreed to.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported without amendment received for final consideration and passed.