Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Questions (718)

Catherine Murphy


718. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice the current status of criminal justice (repeal of certain provisions of the firearms and misuse of drugs) Bill 2020. [1188/21]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy may be aware, the General Scheme of the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill 2020, previously entitled the Criminal Justice (Repeal of certain provisions of the Firearms and Misuse of Drugs Acts) Bill 2020 was published last May.

The General Scheme provides for the repeal of mandatory sentences for certain second or subsequent firearms and misuse of drugs offences following the Supreme Court judgment in Wayne Ellis v The Minister for Justice.

I can inform the Deputy that on 8 December 2020 the Government approved the publication of the Bill subject to a waiver of the pre legislative scrutiny from the Business Committee. On foot of this decision Minister McEntee wrote to the Ceann Comhairle seeking a waiver by the Business Committee from the requirement for pre-legislative scrutiny under Standing Order 173. The waiver is being sought because the purpose of the Bill is simply to implement the Supreme Court decision and nothing more. Once the waiver is granted the Bill will be published.