Thursday, 26 February 2004

Questions (53)

Dan Boyle

Question:

51 Mr. Boyle asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if the Equality Bill 2004 will be referred to the Irish Human Rights Commission and the Equality Authority for their views; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6379/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

Prior to the preparation and drafting of the Equality Bill, the purpose of which is to amend the Employment Equality Act 1998 and the Equal Status Act 2000 to give effect to EU equality directives 2000/43/EC, race directive, 2000/78/EC, framework employment directive, and 2002/73/EC, gender equal treatment in employment directive, the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform undertook a comprehensive consultation process. This process was conducted during 2002 and included the social partners and other key stakeholders, including the Equality Authority. Subsequent to the publication of the Bill in January 2004, further consultations took place with the Equality Authority.

Since the principal purpose of the legislation is to give effect to the EU directives, the Bill was not specifically referred to the Human Rights Commission, which has a considerable workload, but which is free to comment as it sees fit.