I am very conscious that when a court closes in a constituency it is a cause of concern to Members of this House. I assure Members that I am informed by the Courts Service that it genuinely engages in consultation with all interests, including the legal profession, the Garda and other relevant bodies across the board in particular towns that might be affected by court closures, and that it looks at the alternatives. These decisions are ultimately made by the Courts Service independent of me as Minister. It is part of the independence of the courts. The Courts Service has a separate function in this context but it does listen. I am aware of the fact that it has done substantial work looking at courts right across the country. There have been cases where the future of a courthouse has been considered and having engaged in the consultative process it has remained open, rightly so. A real consultative process is undertaken and an assessment by the Courts Service as to how to proceed. There is also an important resources issue. If it is uneconomical to maintain a court in a particular area and there is only a limited number of court proceedings coming before it, it does make sense to consolidate the courts system. I know the Courts Service will continue to deal with that.
I am conscious that a number of Deputies expressed concern about the area of domestic violence. Reforms were introduced in the law in this area in the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill in 2011. As part of the programme for Government, we are looking at producing a consolidated domestic violence Act with additional reforms contained in it. That will not happen in 2013. We have a substantial legislative agenda but I hope we will see that work undertaken to a substantial extent in 2014, leading to the publication of a new Bill. I thank all of those who contributed to the debate. I look forward to Committee Stage.