SECTION 138.

Question proposed: "That section 138 stand part of the Bill."

This section reads:

Where a person is, as a consequence of his conviction of an offence under this Chapter, deemed to be subject to a disqualification order, he shall be deemed to be so subject for a period of five years from the date of conviction or such other period as the court, on the application of the prosecutor and having regard to all the circumstances of the case, may order.

Essentially, it says that it is presumed to be five years if the disqualification arises from the commission of an offence. It would appear to me that this should be rather than as a consequence of his conviction of an offence under this Chapter simply as a consequence of this Chapter; in other words, all disqualifications should be presumed to be five years. If we were to delete the words "of his conviction of an offence under" that would carry a five year presumption in respect of all disqualifications which is more reasonable.

No, this provision relates to the sections to which this applies, sections 136 to 140. Perhaps I might be permitted to read the note on this section. This section was added in the Seanad. It fills the gap which existed previously in Chapter 3 of Part VII. The difficulty was that, where a person is — following conviction of certain offences under Chapter 3 — deemed to be subject to a disqualification order, no provision existed for determining how long the order should run. The provisions of Chapter 3 involved are those contained in sections 136 (2) and 140 (2) also introduced in the Seanad and section 144 (2) again introduced in the Seanad. Section 138 fills the gap by providing that the period of disqualification in such cases should be five years from the date of the conviction which resulted in his being deemed to be subject to an order or such other period as the court, on the application of the prosecutor and having regard to all the circumstances of the case, may order. This idea is already contained in section 135 (1) and all we are doing is extending it to cases where by virtue of certain provisions in Part VII, a person will be deemed to be subject to a disqualification order.

Question put and agreed to.