I wish to reflect on the remarks made on Second Stage of the Bill in the context of what it will do. I wish to emphasise that I indicated that I will support its passage and that it needs to be supported in the circumstances I outlined. Senator Bacik raised the issue of whether the inclusion in the Defamation Act of the two sections dealing with blasphemy was necessary. I wish to remind the House that I brought forward a Bill in 2006 or 2007 which did not include such sections. As then Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, I was of the view that it was unnecessary for a statute to contain such provisions because if the Constitution stated it was an offence and the Judiciary stated it was unprosecutable as a result of vagueness, that was as far as needed to be gone. It had to be punishable in accordance with law. In the absence of legislation dealing with the matter, the law would be that it would be for the Judiciary to determine a punishment and that would be the end of it.
I concur with Senator Bacik's remarks on the amendment made to the Constitution. The reference to the publication or utterance of indecent matter was left in the Constitution without being defined. God knows that what was indecent ten, 20, 50 or 100 years ago is radically different from what is indecent now.