I would like to say a few words at the start of the debate. While I welcome the Bill and appreciate a great deal of work has gone into it and there are considerable amendments to it before the House, I want to outline to the House the position the Government has taken in recent months. As Members will be aware, I recognised earlier this year that the time for self-regulation was past and that we need to introduce online safety regulation for harmful content, that I intended to establish an online digital safety commissioner to set out codes of practice that should apply and to create enforcement powers for the online digital commissioner and, in addition, to provide for third party complaints to be heard by that online safety commissioner.
In April, I had consultations on that legislation and we are now at the detailed drafting stage of it. I intend to have the heads of the Bill to present to Government and to the Oireachtas committee by Christmas. There are many elements in Senator Freeman's Bill which will be picked up and reflected in the Bill I am drafting. It will go considerably beyond it in that it will also embrace the transposition of the legislation for audiovisual platforms, which will also be embraced by the legislation. It will also seek to remove some of the difficulties the Attorney General has drawn to my attention regarding the Bill before us today. Some of those are the open-ended way in which additional harmful content could be prescribed under the legislation. I have been advised that would not be acceptable. I have also been advised that some of the provisions that would allow a person to be tried in an Irish court for the breach of certain foreign laws would not be acceptable.
It has also been brought to my attention that best practice would suggest that initial complaints should go to the platform before they would go to the online safety commissioner for adjudication. There are other issues that may arise with the Bill that is being submitted in that the establishment of a body could require funding and that would pose other questions for the Bill.
While there are definitely issues with the legislation as presented to the House, I absolutely support the intention of the Bill. I will transpose very significant elements of it into the legislation my Department is actively developing at present. I assure the Senator that no time will be lost in bringing forward legislation to deal with the issue that has been presented here in the way I am advised will be legally most robust. I am not opposing what the Senator is proposing but outlining the work I have been undertaking and continue to drive on within the Department.