Criminal Justice (Corruption Offences) Bill 2017: Report and Final Stages

I welcome the Minister for Justice and Equality, Deputy Charles Flanagan. Before we commence may I remind Senators that a Senator may speak only once on Report Stage, except the proposer of an amendment who may reply to discussion on the amendment. Also on Report Stage, each amendment must be seconded. Amendment No. 1 is in the names of Senators McDowell, Boyhan and Craughwell.

I move amendment No. 1.

In page 17, between lines 3 and 4, to insert the following:

“(1) The District Court may try summarily a person or body corporate charged with a summary or indictable offence under this Act if—

(a) the Court is of opinion that the facts proved or alleged constitute a minor offence fit to be tried summarily,

(b) the accused, on being informed by the Court of his, her or its right to be tried with a jury, does not object to being tried summarily, and

(c) the Director of Public Prosecutions consents to the accused being tried summarily for the offence.”.

I second the amendment.

The purpose of amendment No. 1 is to make it absolutely clear that everybody charged with the offence of corruption is entitled to have a jury trial, if they so require. The Bill, as it is drafted, provides for summary jurisdiction in minor cases, even if the person accused does not wish to be tried in the District Court.

This is a point of fundamental principle and I ask the Minister to bear a few points in mind. First, there have been several attempts to amend the law relating to dishonesty and theft, to bring in a capacity to have the trial on a theft charge heard in the District Court. I know from my experience as Attorney General that this has been proposed for many years but it has been rejected by successive Attorneys General on the basis that the reputational consequence of being convicted of theft, even for stealing a chocolate bar from one's local shop, is of such gravity that it could destroy a person's career or require a person to resign office.

In the course of the various debates that have been held on the legislative process on this issue, I remember there are more than 100 and possibly 200 cases where a conviction for an offence of dishonesty disqualifies a person from holding office. I need not underline how many such cases there are, but there is a vast number of things that one cannot do if one has a conviction for an offence of dishonesty. Let me give an example, one cannot be an officer in the local credit union if one has ever been convicted of stealing a chocolate bar. That is the law. It has not changed.

It is crucial, therefore, that we should be very careful in this House about whether we would ever allow a person to be brought before a judge in the District Court on a charge of corruption. On some basis it may be alleged that it is a minor offence, when from the point of view of the person accused, it could never be minor. A conviction for corruption that is equivalent in some sense to a drink driving offence or a careless driving or dangerous driving offence could never be minor for a person who is an upstanding member of the community. These offences could never have the same consequence. They are qualitatively different. The point is that there are so many occupations for which a conviction for dishonesty disqualifies a person, it would be grotesque to allow somebody to be convicted of an offence of dishonesty without allowing him or her the right to trial by jury.

Is this a purely theoretical legal point? It is not. Some of us are long enough in the tooth to remember when the head of the Young Liberals in England, Mr. Peter Hain, who later became Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, was set up for a shoplifting offence where it later transpired that the South African secret service, the Bureau for State Security, BOSS, had a hand in creating the circumstances in which he could be discredited.

He was eventually acquitted in the United Kingdom of this charge, which was something very tiny involving an item in a grocery shop, but the consequences would have been enormous if he had been convicted. For example, he would never have gone on to become the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. He was just a student at that time. He led the Young Liberals but he later turned to the Labour Party.

I ask Members to consider whether, in the political world, anybody could propose themselves as a candidate for election to even the most insignificant elected position if they had a conviction for corruption. What would the consequences be if a conviction for corruption could be thrown in one's face? They would be enormous for anybody and not just politicians. Could a tax inspector keep his or her job if he or she had a conviction for corruption? Could anybody retain any serious position of responsibility in a bank or a credit union, or in a local authority, whether in a management or an elected role? Could a person ever seek an important job having had a conviction for corruption? The answer must be that one cannot.

A conviction for corruption could never be a minor matter, even if it is taking a bribe to let somebody into a car park. Once one is convicted of corruption, the stigma is so huge that the question of disallowing trial by jury, in my strong opinion, simply does not arise. This section states that if somebody wants to avoid a jury trial, they should be allowed to consent to a summary trial. However, if they do not wish to be tried by a local judge in the District Court and want to have a jury trial, the offence of corruption is inherently so important that it is an absolute requirement that they are guaranteed that right.

Successive attempts have been made to introduce jurisdiction for the District Court to try a person against his or her wishes on a theft charge but they have been rebuffed for the reason that one cannot have one law for a bishop and one for the unemployed, the indigent or the homeless person who is accused of theft. The right to a good name belongs to everyone and if a bishop is accused of theft it is curtains for him if he is convicted in his local District Court. If that is the reputational consequence for him, or her depending on what church the bishop is in, the same rights must apply to anybody accused of the offence of corruption.

There is nothing to be lost and everything to be gained by guaranteeing the right to trial by jury to anybody accused of corruption. If we already accord that right to anybody for even the pettiest theft charge, it must logically be the same for a corruption charge. If anything, corruption is inherently a more serious and more deadly conviction for a person's reputation than theft. There are many positions and areas of employment for which a person is ineligible, by statute, if they have a conviction for dishonesty. If there is such a regime relating to dishonesty it must, a fortiori, apply to convictions for corruption. One cannot be corrupt honestly so, ipso facto, if one is convicted of corruption one is convicted of an offence of dishonesty. This amendment has been tabled for that reason. There is absolutely nothing to be lost by making it. As we guarantee this to people who are accused of theft, there is nothing to be lost by giving somebody charged with corruption the right to be tried by 12 women and men who will hear all the evidence, rather than by a single judge.

Senators Boyhan and Craughwell and I believe the consequences of conviction are so grave and so destructive of a person's character and their future in society that there is no such thing as a minor charge of corruption and such a charge should not be taken against a person without the right to jury trial. This is a House of debate and the Minister may have a brilliant argument against the amendment but I can see no argument, in advance, that persuades me to do anything other than move it to a vote.

I went through these two amendments the last time the Minister was here. He said he would reflect on the issues and I am sure he has done so. The aim of the amendment is simple: to ensure that, if an accused is prosecuted for an offence under this Act, he or she will have the option to elect for a jury trial. As the Bill stands, if a person or body corporate is prosecuted for any offence under the Act on a summary basis, where the maximum custodial sentence is 12 months, the criminal trial would be heard before a District Court judge. Many people may say that for offences with lesser penalties, this is an efficient way for crime to be prosecuted and the Minister made that point the last time we spoke. My concern, however, is that the public reputation of a person prosecuted under any of these white-collar crime offences could have a lifelong punitive effect, even if the formal legal sanction is on the lower scale.

It is already the case that, in certain theft and fraud offences, an accused can elect to have their trial heard by a jury, even when prosecuted on a summary basis. I cannot see how prosecutions under a corruption Act are any less consequential than theft and fraud offences. When it comes to a person's liberty and ensuring he or she receives a fair trial, we have to be extremely careful that, in our collective desire to ensure no person is above the law, we do not lose sight of due process. I encourage Members to support the amendment.

I rise in support of my two colleagues in respect of this amendment. Senator McDowell pointed to silly things people do in their young lives that can haunt them for the rest of their lives and we frequently hear of learned judges treating young students sympathetically because a criminal offence will follow that student for the rest of his or her life. Such students will not be able to travel to the United States and there will be many things they cannot do.

It will interfere with their career. With regard to a simple fracas some night when someone is out or stealing a chocolate bar, as my colleagues have said, people do not like thieves and people who misbehave when they are out at night but the one thing that everybody in this country hates is corruption. We constantly hear talk of corruption. It seems to be ingrained in our system that corruption is the most heinous of all crimes and I agree. What can be wrong with somebody who is charged with an offence of corruption saying he or she wants to be judged by their peers and not by a single individual in a court? As Senator McDowell said, the taking of a few bob to let a fellow park in a car park can be enough to have someone labelled corrupt and this will follow him or her through for the rest of his or her life.

I will not waste the Minister's time because I believe he will accept this amendment. I cannot see any way he would reject it. He has had the advice of a former Minister for Justice and Attorney General and, therefore, I ask him to accept the amendment and not push it to a vote.

I can assure Senator Craughwell that he is not wasting my time but he is wrong to conflate the wasting of my time and the acceptance on my part of the amendment because I will not accept it for a number of reasons. In doing so, I acknowledge the sincerity of the three Senators under the influence, however, of Senator McDowell, a former-----

He was not here on the last occasion.

He is a former Attorney General, an illustrious Minster for Justice and a man of considerable influence-----

-----as can be evidenced by the debate.

We are big lads now.

I committed to a process of reflection and I have engaged in that reflection over the past while. I consulted again with the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, so I have given this matter full and careful consideration. The right of election to a jury trial has been an issue for Senator McDowell down through the years. I go back to 1992 when he made a submission to the Law Reform Commission raising a constitutional issue relating to the right of an accused to elect for trial by jury. On that occasion, that point was not accepted by the LRC in its pretty substantive and authoritative report on the law relating to dishonesty, which stated that the Oireachtas-----

The Department of Justice accepted the advice of the Attorney General at the time.

-----was entitled to rely on the integrity of the DPP and that office. The commission stated, "The District Court judge will be charged with protecting the constitutional rights of the accused". To say that there is no protection or that this is in any way a less than fulsome process is not a full-----

It is not fulsome.

-----reflection of the picture.

The right of election was still provided for in the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 but provisions of that legislation must be considered in light of the law regarding the matter of theft offences that preceded that - the earlier Act. At least some of the offences contained in the Act were previously contained in the Larceny Act 1861 and were specified in the Schedule to the Criminal Justice Act 1951, which granted a right of election. The approach adopted in 2001 effectively maintained the status quo insofar as those types of offences are concerned.

A few weeks ago, Senator Norris made the point that we should follow tradition in respect of criminal offences. The text of the Bill relating to corruption offences follows tradition and follows the style of our anti-corruption legislation to date - legislation that is very much in existence and that provides for hybrid offences. I am not aware of any instance where the structure of the offences has caused the difficulty but I accept what Senator McDowell said in respect of potential difficulty or challenges. It is important to be clear on what the effect of the amendment would be, which is why I have given the matter the type of consideration I was asked to afford it by Senator Boyhan on the previous occasion. One Senator said he would be happy to support the amendment as it would allow the District Court to hear minor corruption cases and this could take the pressure off the higher courts but the Bill, as currently constructed, provided for that. It was a reasonable point and I accept it. It is important that we consider that in the context of this debate.

However, the amendment does not provide for that. It would allow the accused to veto a summary trial in the District Court and to insist on a jury trial even in the case of the most minor offence. I acknowledge Senator Ó Donnghaile has put his hand up and I welcome the support for measures that might take the pressure off the higher courts for numerous reasons, all of which will be familiar to Senators and, in particular, the proposer of the amendment. The Bill can achieve that insofar as it allows summary prosecutions to be heard in certain circumstances in the District Court. Were I to accept the amendment, that process would be stymied by allowing the accused at every remove to reject a summary trial in a lower court.

The hybrid offences I have set out in the Bill would be much more common on the Statute Book in recent years and they are entirely appropriate. Providing a veto for an accused over which court a case might be heard in is not necessarily required and I do not accept that there is a right to a jury trial in all cases. I refer to offences that can be regarded on our Statute Book and by our courts as minor offences. Giving an accused an option to insist on a jury trial for a most minor offence could have adverse consequences for the prosecution even proceeding, much less being a success. The benefits of securing a conviction for a minor offence would have to be balanced against all of the resource implications that are consequent on a jury trial. The accused has such a veto in the theft and fraud offences legislation. If the amendment is accepted, there is a risk that a person accused of a minor offence could exercise a tactic to opt for jury trial in the hope that the State might turn around and say this is too onerous a task and too great a burden, and this it puts a greater obligation on the State than in the circumstances might be warranted. We would have the consequence of the prosecution of many minor offences in one of the higher courts. Where the accused is up for trial by jury and the State proceeds, this adds another layer to the court process and may frustrate the expeditious conclusion of many otherwise minor cases that would be dealt with summarily by the District Court under the jurisdiction of a District Court judge.

I remind Senators that Article 38.2 of the Constitution provides: "Minor offences may be tried by courts of summary jurisdiction." This should be read in conjunction with Article 38.5 of the Constitution, which recognises that "save in the case of the trial of offences under section 2, section 3 or section 4 of this Article no person shall be tried on any criminal charge without a jury". As such, it is clearly recognised that minor offences are an exception to the constitutional provision for a right to trial by jury. In a recent case in 2015, DF v. Commissioner of An Garda Síochána in 2015, the court held that the only right to trial by jury is in respect of a non-minor criminal offence; in other words, a serious or major criminal offence.

There are essentially two styles of prosecution here, and both are referenced in the general 2001 guidelines for prosecutors of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The first style is as set out in this Bill, creating hybrid offences that may be tried summarily or on indictment. The DPP decides, based on the gravity of the offence and whether it should be heard in the District Court or in a higher court. Should the prosecutor decide to prosecute summarily, that decision will be subject to the District Court judge being satisfied that the offence is really a minor offence, a less serious offence.

This approach has been widely used in the Statute Book, and I invite Senator McDowell to agree with me. More than any of us, he has the practical experience here. He will acknowledge that this is the widely used norm as far as the Statute Book is concerned, particularly over the last decade. The second style is the one that is broadly set out in the amendment. I am assuming it is the intention of the Senators to follow the Criminal Justice Act 1951, and the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act of 2001. All offences are created as scheduled or indictable offences. Some, in certain circumstances, may be heard summarily in the District Court. The key difference here is that those provisions relate to offences that are specified in the various pieces of legislation to be triable on indictment only. The provision therefore gives jurisdiction to the District Court to try summarily what would otherwise have been an indictable offence. Where the District Court is nominated in the case of a minor offence the accused, as I said earlier, would enjoy a veto, and may opt for a trial by jury, which would have the consequences that I referred to earlier.

In drafting this Bill I have given due consideration to the construction of the offences, and I am strongly of the view that the hybrid approach chosen is the optimal one. Indeed, I refer to the 2007 Supreme Court case of Reade v. Reilly, which expressed a clear view that an election by the Director of Public Prosecutions to try a case summarily does not bind the District Court to do so. The court explained that this was in order to ensure that the rights of the accused to a trial by jury for a non-minor offence would not in any way be adversely interfered with. As I mentioned previously, the provisions in section 2 of the 1951 act and in section 53 of the 2001 act relate to indictable offences only.

Even if I accepted that these two Acts provided the only path to follow, I would have to point out that the wording of the amendment is somewhat flawed, and is not consistent with the 1951 Act or the 2001 Act. For a start, a body corporate is a legal person, and does not require to be listed separately from "person". More important, the amendment states: "The District Court may try summarily a person or body corporate charged with a summary or indictable offence under this Act." The two earlier Acts, the 1951 Act and the 2001 Act, do not offer a right of election in the event of either a summary or indictable offence. They simply allow for indictable offences to be heard summarily in certain circumstances that I have gone into. The Senators seem to be accepting the concept of summary offences under this Bill by proposing the amendment in the way that they have done. I will conclude by saying that it could well be that Senator McDowell wishes to find a form of wording that would fit into section 17 of this Bill, but the legal advice available to me is that the section would have to be amended further to create only indictable offences, and would require a further provision to allow for the summary prosecution of those indictable offences in certain circumstances.

I acknowledge a reality and invite Senators to agree with me, in particular Senator McDowell because of his experience on a day-to-day basis outside of this House. He will acknowledge that for a corruption case to proceed through the Irish courts is a rare event. Even though the cases are few and far between, the vast majority of them will in no circumstances be considered minor offences. That is the difference between a corruption offence and a bar of chocolate, which was the analogy used earlier in support of the amendment. I would say that it is in very limited circumstances that the District Court would be used in any event.

I am not in a position to accept the amendment for reasons of consistency, and also for reasons of sound legal construct. I must take into account the Law Reform Commission, previous statutes of a broadly similar nature and the need to ensure that in the event of a minor offence, a very minor offence or a largely minor offence where an accepted procedure and practice is raised for having the matter dealt with summarily in the District Court, which I believe in the circumstances to be in order.

I wish to inquire of the Acting Chairman what the Order of Business provides for today.

It provides for the debate to conclude at 7 p.m. and for any business that has not been dealt with to be dealt with at 7 p.m., without debate.

It is not a guillotine motion then.

The debate on the Bill will conclude-----

The debate will be concluded at 7 p.m., guillotined or otherwise.

I suggest that account should be taken of the fact that there was a delay of 15 minutes while we were waiting for the Minister, because the decision of the House was to provide one hour for the debate.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Katherine Zappone, is coming before the House and there are extremely important statements afterwards, so I do not think we are in a position to accept that.

There is a guillotine procedure, which involves the Order of Business stating that all of the issues are to be determined by one single vote at a certain time. There is another procedure, and that is that the debate on Report Stage should conclude at 7 p.m., but there is not provision for all of the votes to be taken on one single vote. Therefore, there is not a guillotine on this debate. Is that not so?

What I am being told is that there is a guillotine on the debate at 7 p.m., or, it could be argued, within an hour. I think the Leader of the House is conscious of the issues that are being dealt with now, but equally conscious that the Minister is constrained at the far end of the next item.

I do not want to keep the Minister waiting at all, but by the same token, these are two very substantial amendments and we will not have any time to debate the second one at all.

It is a matter for the Leader to amend the Order of Business. He may do so, and may bring in a proposal that the House can deal with it. I can only deal with the Order of Business, which states we must conclude at 7 p.m.

I am not sure that the Standing Orders of the Seanad permit me to make a point of order.

I will allow the Minister to do so anyway.

I thank the Acting Chairman. I would like to find some pathway to accommodate Senators. I would be happy to go along with whatever device is used to allow for a greater level of debate, having regard to the importance of the amendments. In the event of a change in the Order of Business, I ask the Acting Chairman to count me in.

I will ask the Leader to take that into account.

My second point of order is in response to Senator Norris.

The Minister was not late.

Nobody thinks that.

That was not a point of order but I thank the Minister for making it anyway.

The Minister was not late.

Senator Wilson, without interruption.

There was a vote in the House.

The Minister was not here so the debate did not start.

The Minister was here.

The Minister waited in the ante-room.

I was outside in the ante-room.

I know but the Minister was not in this room.

The Minister waited in the ante-room.

The Minister has made the point that he was not late-----

That is not what he said.

-----and that is a valid point.

Almost every time I come in here Senator Norris makes an allegation and usually disappears. I was not late. I was here but I waited outside in the ante-room because there was a vote.

That should be withdrawn.

I was here for the debate.

Senator Norris's claim should be withdrawn because the Minister was in the ante-room. Is the ante-room not part of the Seanad?

No, of course not.

I do not want to get involved in semantics.

The Minister waited outside in the ante-room.

So I can go and speak from the ante-room then can I?

No, the Senator has been around here a lot longer than me-----

The Minister waited outside.

-----so Senator Norris should not come in here to lecture us.

I ask Senator Craughwell to wait and I ask Senator Conway to please resume his seat.

On numerous occasions since I came in here I have heard side comments thrown by Senator Norris towards the Minister about him being late. The Minister waited to be brought into this Chamber.

That is utter, absolute and total rubbish. This is the first time that I have ever said anything about this Minister being late.

These exchanges are unproductive.

This is not the first time.

These exchanges are detracting from the debate.

No, it is not the first time that Senator Norris has said so.

Is the Senator calling me a liar?

I am not a liar.

The Senator is mistaken.

I ask Senator Conway to resume his seat. I call Senator Wilson, without interruption.

It is time that the Acting Chairman took control.

I wish to be helpful as the Fianna Fáil Whip in this House. My colleague, Senator Clifford-Lee, has no difficulty with the debate adjourning because it is quite obvious that it will not finish in an appropriate manner this evening. The order of the House is that te debate must finish at 7 p.m. Senator Conway is a reasonable person. I propose, in light of what the Minister, who is also a reasonable person, has said that we adjourn at 7 p.m. and resume on another date with an appropriate time given to this matter.

I thank Senator Wilson for his helpful contribution. Everyone in this room has tried to facilitate the debate in an orderly fashion, with the odd interjection that might not be as helpful. The Leader, and not the Acting Leader, is the only person who can change the Order of Business.

I might give an instruction.

The Leader is conscious of the situation and we await a development in that regard. I ask Senator McDowell, on his particular item, to conclude his response to the debate on amendment No. 1 while we wait for the Leader to enlighten us further.

I will comply with the Acting Chairman's request. We are debating an important issue and I want to spend a little time replying to the points that the Minister has made. I ask Senator Conway to make sure that something is being done from the point of view of getting the Leader here.

I will see what we can do.

Here is the Leader.

The Leader is welcome. Does he wish to address the House?

The debate on the Bill was late starting by ten minutes. To be fair, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Katherine Zappone, is due here at 7 p.m. As she has a meeting at 8.30 p.m., she must leave here by 8.20 p.m. I have no problem extending this debate by the ten minutes required and then to facilitate the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs who must leave by 8.20 p.m.

I suggest that the Leader simply adjourns proceedings at 7 p.m.

This matter is debatable afterwards and we will be back here in two weeks' time.

No. I suggest that the Leader adjourns the discussion of this Bill at 7 p.m.

I suggest we resume the debate on another date.

Yes, resume on another date.

No. We should complete this debate tonight and have it done. This debate was scheduled, which we agreed at a group meeting.

The Minister for Justice and Equality was agreeable to my suggestion. I wonder whether we can adjourn.

I know that there are many leaders, potential leaders, wannabe leaders and future leaders.

There is still only one Chair at a given time.

Yes, we agreed at the group meeting the amount of time that would be allocated for this debate tonight. I am happy to continue until 7.20 p.m. when the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs will arrive.

I am not sure a finish time of 7.20 p.m. would be sufficient time for this debate but I am guided by the proposers.

To be fair, the Minister for Justice and Equality has indicated that he wants to complete this debate tonight.

A vote, if proposed, will take 20 minutes.

Then hurry things up.

Yes. I am prepared, if we can, to reconvene after we take statements with the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in attendance.

That is not the problem here though.

The Minister for Justice and Equality is unavailable.

As the Acting Chairman would clearly know there would have to be a series of votes on the amendments. We would lose half an hour if we do things that way.

In fairness, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs is due to come here to discuss important business and I do not want to delay her.

That was requested by the House.

I will call the Vote in a second.

The Minister for Justice and Equality was agreeable to adjourn the debate at 7 p.m. and to continue it on another day.

The Minister for Justice and Equality might clarify his availability.

The Minister for Justice and Equality said so.

I made it clear that he was anxious to accommodate Senators. In the light of what Senator Norris has said about the debate not being given sufficient time, I am happy to continue. We have two amendments and we have dealt with one. We are on Report Stage. We have one more amendment to go and I suggest that it will take another 20 to 25 minutes, for which I certainly would be available.

The difficulty is that, realistically, each vote takes about 20 minutes between voting and everything else.

If the amendments are withdrawn, there will be no necessity for votes.

That is a fair point.

That is a valid point but it may not be the chosen course of action.

Perhaps Senator McDowell can withdraw his amendment.

The Minister would be good if he accepted the amendments.

I am happy to come back after statements with the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, to be fair to her.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs is due here at 7 p.m.

I will not be here for that.

Then just push through the legislation.

Earlier I made a proposal. Am I correct that there is no particular rush with this legislation and it does not have to be enacted by a certain date? I suggest that we conclude this debate in an amicable way, whether that results in votes or not, reconvene on another day and allocate an appropriate amount of time.

A sensible suggestion.

I acknowledge the difficulty faced by the Leader. If he allocates two hours for a debate and it only takes 20 minutes, that reflects badly on the Seanad to be suspended for the remaining time. A reasonable amount of time to conclude this debate on another date would be the appropriate action to take this evening.

Acceptance of the proposal requires the co-operation of the House. To be fair to the Minister, he has to return to the Dáil with the Bill. The Council of Europe is scheduled to meet on 13 and 20 June and the UN Convention against Corruption evaluation will take place at the end of June. It is important, therefore, that we complete this legislative business. I am happy to return here at 8.30 p.m., although I do not want to inconvenience the House. I am not trying to guillotine the debate.

Just call a vote on amendment No. 1.

I wish to give a brief reply to the Minister. I made a submission to the LRC in 1992. In 2001, the then Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. John O'Donoghue, brought the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Bill through the House. He took the view, on the advice of the then Attorney General, as I understand it-----

-----that it was inappropriate to attempt to impose a summary jurisdiction against the wishes of an person accused of theft or fraud. That is the up-to-date position. The other position has not changed. A conviction for dishonesty of any form disqualifies one from holding at least 100 positions, according to statute law. I note the Minister's comment that a minor offence of corruption would be probably be rare. I do not know what a minor offence of corruption would be. It is hard to imagine that somebody could leave the District Court and say, "That was a minor matter and I have just been done for corruption." I cannot imagine that that could ever happen. That being the case, we will have a vote now.

Amendment No. 1 is in the names of Senators McDowell, Boyhan and Craughwell and arose from Committee proceedings.

Amendment put:
The Seanad divided: Tá, 13; Níl, 22.

  • Black, Frances.
  • Boyhan, Victor.
  • Conway-Walsh, Rose.
  • Craughwell, Gerard P.
  • Devine, Máire.
  • Gavan, Paul.
  • Lawless, Billy.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McDowell, Michael.
  • Norris, David.
  • Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
  • Ó Donnghaile, Niall.
  • Warfield, Fintan.

Níl

  • Ardagh, Catherine.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Paddy.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Maria.
  • Clifford-Lee, Lorraine.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Conway, Martin.
  • Daly, Mark.
  • Daly, Paul.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Gallagher, Robbie.
  • Hopkins, Maura.
  • Horkan, Gerry.
  • Lawlor, Anthony.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Lombard, Tim.
  • McFadden, Gabrielle.
  • O'Mahony, John.
  • Reilly, James.
  • Wilson, Diarmuid.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Gerard P Craughwell and Michael McDowell; Níl, Senators Gabrielle McFadden and John O'Mahony..
Amendment declared lost.

As it now past 7 p.m., in accordance with the order of the House, I call Senator Norris to move amendment No. 2 without debate.

I move amendment No. 2:

In page 18, lines 16 to 22, to delete all words from and including "official," in line 16 down to and including line 22 and substitute "official".

I second the amendment.

Amendment put:
The Seanad divided: Tá, 13; Níl, 22.

  • Black, Frances.
  • Boyhan, Victor.
  • Conway-Walsh, Rose.
  • Craughwell, Gerard P.
  • Devine, Máire.
  • Gavan, Paul.
  • Lawless, Billy.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McDowell, Michael.
  • Norris, David.
  • Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
  • Ó Donnghaile, Niall.
  • Warfield, Fintan.

Níl

  • Ardagh, Catherine.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Paddy.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Maria.
  • Clifford-Lee, Lorraine.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Conway, Martin.
  • Daly, Mark.
  • Daly, Paul.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Gallagher, Robbie.
  • Hopkins, Maura.
  • Horkan, Gerry.
  • Lawlor, Anthony.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Lombard, Tim.
  • McFadden, Gabrielle.
  • O'Mahony, John.
  • Reilly, James.
  • Wilson, Diarmuid.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Gerard P Craughwell and Michael McDowell; Níl, Senators Gabrielle McFadden and John O'Mahony..
Amendment declared lost.
Question put: "That the Bill be received for final consideration."
The Seanad divided: Tá, 29; Níl, 6.

  • Ardagh, Catherine.
  • Black, Frances.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Paddy.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Maria.
  • Clifford-Lee, Lorraine.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Conway-Walsh, Rose.
  • Conway, Martin.
  • Daly, Mark.
  • Daly, Paul.
  • Devine, Máire.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Gallagher, Robbie.
  • Gavan, Paul.
  • Hopkins, Maura.
  • Horkan, Gerry.
  • Lawlor, Anthony.
  • Leyden, Terry.
  • Lombard, Tim.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McFadden, Gabrielle.
  • O'Mahony, John.
  • Ó Donnghaile, Niall.
  • Reilly, James.
  • Warfield, Fintan.
  • Wilson, Diarmuid.

Níl

  • Boyhan, Victor.
  • Craughwell, Gerard P.
  • Lawless, Billy.
  • McDowell, Michael.
  • Norris, David.
  • Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Gabrielle McFadden and John O'Mahony; Níl, Senators Michael McDowell and David Norris.
Question declared carried.
Question, "That the Bill do now pass", put and declared carried.