Standing Orders: Motion

I move:

That, pursuant to Standing Order 89(1)(a) the Committee on Procedure and Privileges recommends that the Standing Orders of Seanad Éireann relative to Public Business are hereby amended as follows:

(a) STANDING ORDERS 98A, 98B, 98C, 98D and 98E:

‘98A. (1) There shall stand established, at the commencement of every Seanad, a Select Committee which shall stand conferred with the powers set out in Standing Orders 98C, 98D and 98E.

(2) The Seanad shall, not later than the third sitting day following such commencement and on the nomination of the Committee of Selection, appoint six members to the Select Committee established under paragraph (1) of this Standing Order, of whom three shall constitute a quorum, and in so doing, shall—

(a) define the functions to be performed by the Select Committee, and

(b) define the powers, if any, to be devolved upon the Select Committee under Standing Order 70.

98B. (1) A Select Committee on which powers have been conferred under Standing Orders 98C, 98D or 98E and which has been joined with a Select Committee appointed by Dáil Éireann to form a Joint Committee may nevertheless decide to act as a Select Committee of the Seanad in respect of a specified matter or matters or for a specified time period for the purpose of exercising the said powers.

(2) It shall be an instruction to a Select Committee on which powers have been conferred under Standing Orders 98C, 98D or 98E that it shall not enter into consideration of any matter comprehended by the aforementioned Standing Orders where such matter is already under consideration by another Select Committee.

(3) Each Select Committee on which powers have been conferred under Standing Orders 98C, 98D or 98E shall have power to request of another Select Committee of either House on which such powers have been similarly conferred that a joint meeting of both Committees be held to consider a specific matter or matters of common activity and, in the case of any such joint meeting—

(a) the Chairman of the requesting Committee shall act as Chairman and, in the unavoidable absence of the Chairman, the provisions of Standing Order 78(2) and (3) shall apply;

(b) the quorum provisions of both Committees shall apply with the modification that each such quorum shall be halved and then rounded up to the next nearest whole number; and

(c) the orders of reference of the two Committees shall apply only insofar as they are common to both.

98C. (1) In accordance with Article 6 of Protocol No. 2 to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Protocol on the Application of the Principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality) as applied by section 7(3) of the European Union Act 2009, the Seanad may empower a Select Committee to form a reasoned opinion that a draft legislative act (within the meaning of Article 3 of the said Protocol) does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity.

(2) All draft legislative acts forwarded to the Seanad under Article 4 of the said Protocol shall stand referred to a Select Committee empowered under this Standing Order.

(3) It shall be an instruction to a Select Committee empowered under this Standing Order that—

(a) in forming a reasoned opinion on whether a draft legislative act complies with the principle of subsidiarity, the Committee shall consult with such other Committees and such stakeholders as it considers appropriate;

(b) where the Committee is of the opinion that a draft legislative act does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity, it shall submit a reasoned opinion to this effect by way of a report which shall be laid before the Seanad;

(c) where a report has been laid by the Committee under paragraph (3)(b) of this Standing Order, the Chairman shall forthwith table a motion thereon under section 7(3) of the European Union Act 2009; and

(d) where the Seanad agrees the motion referred to in paragraph (3)(c) of this Standing Order, the Cathaoirleach shall cause a copy of the Resolution, together with a copy of the report referred to in paragraph (c), to be sent to the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission.

98D. (1) The Seanad may empower a Select Committee to consider such notifications under—

(a) the third subparagraph of Article 48.7 of the Treaty on European Union (general passerelle: change from unanimity to qualified majority or from special legislative procedure to ordinary legislative procedure) as applied by section 7(1) of the European Union Act 2009, and

(b) the third subparagraph of Article 81.3 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (family law passerelle: change to ordinary legislative procedure for measures concerning family law with cross-border implications) as applied by section 7(2) of the European Union Act 2009,

as may be referred to the Committee from time to time by the Seanad.

(2) It shall be an instruction to a Select Committee empowered under this Standing Order that—

(a) in considering such notifications, the Committee shall consult with such other Committees and such stakeholders as it considers appropriate;

(b) where the Committee is opposed to the decision to which the notification refers, it shall lay a report to this effect before the Seanad;

(c) where a report has been laid by the Committee under paragraph (2)(b) of this Standing Order, the Chairman shall forthwith table a motion thereon under section 7(1) or 7(2) of the European Union Act 2009, as appropriate; and

(d) where the Committee is not opposed to the decision to which the notification refers, it shall send a Message to this effect to the Seanad in accordance with the procedure set out in Standing Order 72.

(3) The Cathaoirleach shall cause a copy of all Resolutions made by the Seanad under paragraph (2)(c) of this Standing Order to be sent to the President of the European Council or the Council as appropriate, together with a copy of the Report to which the Resolution refers.

98E. (1) In accordance with Article 8 of Protocol No. 2 to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (Protocol on the Application of the Principles of Subsidiarity andProportionality) as applied by section 7(4) of the European Union Act 2009, the Seanad may empower a Select Committee to consider whether any act of an institution of the European Union infringes the principle of subsidiarity.

(2) It shall be an instruction to a Select Committee empowered under this Standing Order that—

(a) in considering whether an act of the European Union infringes the principle of subsidiarity, the Committee shall consult with such other Committees and such stakeholders as it considers appropriate;

(b) where the Committee is—

(i) of the opinion that an act of an institution of the European Union infringes the principle of subsidiarity; and

(ii) wishes that proceedings seeking a review of the act concerned be brought to the Court of Justice of the European Union,

it shall lay a report to this effect before the Seanad; and

(c) where a report has been laid by the Committee under paragraph (2)(b) of this Standing Order, the Chairman shall forthwith table a motion thereon under section 7(4) of the European Union Act 2009.

(3) The Cathaoirleach shall cause a copy of all Resolutions made by the Seanad in accordance with paragraph (2)(c) of this Standing Order to be sent to the relevant Minister.’

Question put and agreed to.