Judicial Council Bill 2017: Committee Stage (Resumed)

SECTION 73

We move to deal with amendment No. 72. If amendment No. 72 is carried, amendments Nos. 73 and 74 cannot be moved.

I move amendment No. 72:

In page 63, to delete lines 20 to 26.

Amendment put:
The Committee divided: Tá, 11; Níl, 20.

  • Clifford-Lee, Lorraine.
  • Conway-Walsh, Rose.
  • Daly, Paul.
  • Davitt, Aidan.
  • Devine, Máire.
  • Gavan, Paul.
  • Horkan, Gerry.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • Murnane O'Connor, Jennifer.
  • Ó Donnghaile, Niall.
  • Warfield, Fintan.

Níl

  • Boyhan, Victor.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Paddy.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Maria.
  • Coghlan, Paul.
  • Conway, Martin.
  • Craughwell, Gerard P.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Hopkins, Maura.
  • Lawlor, Anthony.
  • Lombard, Tim.
  • Marshall, Ian.
  • McDowell, Michael.
  • McFadden, Gabrielle.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donnell, Marie-Louise.
  • Reilly, James.
  • Richmond, Neale.
Tellers: Tá, Senators Lorraine Clifford-Lee and Gerry Horkan; Níl, Senators Tim Lombard and Gabrielle McFadden.
Amendment declared lost.
Government amendment No. 73:
In page 63, line 20, to delete “The Judicial Conduct Committee” and substitute “Subject to subsections (6) and (7), the Judicial Conduct Committee”.
Amendment agreed to.
Government amendment No. 74:
In page 63, lines 24 to 26, to delete all words from and including “complainant,” in line 24 down to and including line 26 and substitute “complainant.”.
Amendment agreed to.
Government amendment No. 75:
In page 63, between lines 26 and 27, to insert the following:
“(6) The following information shall be included in a report under this section—
(a) where the Judicial Conduct Committee issues a reprimand to a judge under section 58, the name of the judge concerned and the reprimand issued, and
(b) the name of a judge to whom section 66(11) applies.
(7) Where the Judicial Conduct Committee issues a reprimand to a judge under section 66(2)(b), the name of the judge concerned and the reprimand issued shall be included in a report under this section unless the Judicial Conduct Committee considers that in order to safeguard the administration of justice that information should not be included in the report.”.
Amendment agreed to.
Section 73, as amended, agreed to.
NEW SECTION
Government amendment No. 76:
In page 63, between lines 30 and 31, to insert the following:
“Costs of legal representation
74. (1) Where a hearing is conducted under section 55(3) or 66(3) in relation to a complaint and a determination is made by the Judicial Conduct Committee that the complaint has not been substantiated, the judge concerned may apply to the Committee for the recovery of the reasonable legal costs and expenses associated with his or her legal representation (if any) connected with the hearing.
(2) Where on application to it by the judge concerned under subsection (1), the Judicial Conduct Committee considers that the interests of justice require the payment of the reasonable legal costs and expenses referred to in that subsection, the Committee shall nominate a solicitor, other than a solicitor who was involved in any hearing relating to the complaint concerned, to agree those legal costs and expenses.
(3) In default of agreement under subsection (2), the Judicial Conduct Committee shall—
(a) refer the legal costs and expenses to the Taxing Master of the High Court for taxation, and
(b) nominate a solicitor (which may be the solicitor referred to in subsection (2)) to represent it in such taxation.
(4) The Minister shall be liable to pay to the judge the legal costs and expenses agreed under subsection (2) or taxed under subsection (3), as the case may be.”.

With regard to position on the costs of legal representation, it is important that it be limited, clear and transparent. I refer to my earlier comments regarding witness expenses. It is the same principle.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 74 agreed to.
NEW SECTION
Government amendment No. 77:
In page 63, after line 35, to insert the following:
“Sentencing guidelines
75. (1) Sentencing guidelines to be adopted by the Council under section 7 (in this Act referred to as “sentencing guidelines”) may relate to sentencing generally or to sentences in respect of a particular offence, a particular category of offence or a particular category of offender.
(2) A range of sentences may be specified in sentencing guidelines that it is appropriate for a court to consider before imposing sentence on an offender in the proceedings before it.
(3) The Sentencing Guidelines and Information Committee shall, in preparing draft sentencing guidelines, or draft amendments to sentencing guidelines, for submission to the Board and the Board shall, in reviewing such draft guidelines, or such draft amendments, take account of—
(a) sentences that are imposed by the courts,
(b) the need to promote consistency in sentences imposed by the courts,
(c) the impact of decisions of the courts relating to sentences on the victims of the offences concerned,
(d) the need to promote public confidence in the system of criminal justice,
(e) the financial costs involved in the execution of different types of sentence and the relative effectiveness of them in the prevention of re-offending, and
(f) such factors as the Committee or the Board, as the case may be, considers appropriate relating to the offence concerned and the offender committing the offence for the purpose of specifying a range of sentences referred to in subsection (2).”.
Amendment agreed to.
Section 75 agreed to.
NEW SECTION
Government amendment No. 78:
In page 63, after line 35, to insert the following:
“Courts to have regard to sentencing guidelines
76. A court shall, in imposing a sentence, have regard to sentencing guidelines relevant to the proceedings before it, unless the court is satisfied that to do so would be contrary to the interests of justice.”.
Amendment agreed to.
Section 76 agreed to.
SECTION 77
Question proposed: "That section 77 stand part of the Bill."

For the information of the House, I intend to bring in an amendment on Report Stage to account for GDPR.

Question put and agreed to.
Sections 78 and 79 agreed to.
NEW SECTION

I move amendment No. 79:

In page 65, after line 11, to insert the following:

“Amendment of the Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004

80. The Civil Liability and Courts Act 2004 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 22:

“22A. Section 22 shall apply until such time as guidelines on general damages for personal injury are forthcoming from the Judicial Council.”.”.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments.

When is it proposed to take Report Stage?

Report Stage ordered for Tuesday, 9 April 2019.

When it is proposed to sit again?

Ar 10.30 maidin amárach.

The Seanad adjourned at 8.10 p.m. until 10.30 a.m on Wednesday, 3 April 2019.