On Report Stage in the other House, we amended section 2 (b) of the Bill in response to an important point raised by certain Opposition Deputies. This point arose at the last minute and the parliamentary draftsman had only a short time to prepare the amendment. Since Report Stage, we have had an opportunity to consider the matter in greater detail and a slight drafting inconsistency has been discovered.
Section 2 (b) of the Bill inserts a new subsection (3A) in section 3 of the Extradition (European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism) Act, 1987. In this new subsection reference is made to "the act or omission constituting the offence". As offences can, on occasion, be committed by an omission, it is standard drafting practice to include a reference to "or omission". However, section 1 (2) of the 1987 Act already provides "references in this Act to an act include references to an omission and references to the doing of an act include references to the making of an omission". As a result, there is no need for the words "or omission" to be included in subsection (3A). If it is retained, it will result in drafting inconsistencies in the 1987 Act as, for example, the definition of serious offence in section 1 of that Act refers to the act constituting the offence without any reference to the words "or omission". To avoid such drafting inconsistencies, and as the point is already covered by section 1 (2) of the 1987 Act, this amendment proposes to delete the words "or omission" from lines 14 and 15 on page 3 of the Bill.