Thursday, 2 May 2013

Questions (21)

Dessie Ellis

Question:

21. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the time frame for the publication of the new Immigration Residency and Protection Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20838/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Work on the details of the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2010 is ongoing at my Department pursuant to current Government policy which is committed, under the Programme for Government, to "introduce comprehensive reforms of the immigration, residency and asylum systems, which will include a statutory appeals system and set out rights and obligations in a transparent way". As I have outlined previously to the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence, several hundred amendments to the Legal Services Regulation Bill are anticipated, the majority of a technical nature. On that occasion, I also expressed the considered view that instead of engaging in an extremely cumbersome process of tabling hundreds of amendments to the 2010 Bill it would be much more efficient to publish a new and enhanced text. Such an approach can incorporate the many anticipated amendments while addressing key outstanding issues, several of which have been of concern to Members, including that of a streamlined, single application procedure and that of an appropriate appeals procedure. This proposition was broadly welcomed by the Joint Committee. Work on the Bill continues, therefore, on that basis, including in cooperation with the Offices of Parliamentary Counsel and of the Attorney General while also taking account of any relevant rulings by the Courts. It remains my objective under this new approach, and mindful of our having to deal with the competing legislative demands of our EU/IMF/ECB Programme commitments, to be in a position to bring a revised Bill to Government for approval and publication later this year.