The working group on parliamentary privilege and citizens’ rights was established to review the Houses of the Oireachtas procedures, particularly their Standing Orders (rules of procedure), and ensure that the rights of citizens are respected throughout the parliamentary process.
The review follows the judgments of the Supreme Court in Kerins v Dáil Éireann & ors of 27 February 2019 and 29 May 2019 and the O'Brien judgment of 5 March 2019. The working group is considering solutions and responses to the judgments and will report back to the Committees at an early date in respect of:
- House and Committee procedures
- Oversight mechanisms
- Citizens’ rights and remedies and sanctions
- The role of the Houses of the Oireachtas Service
Submissions to the working group
In July 2019, we invited organisations and people who had appeared before an Oireachtas Committee since March 2011 to make written submissions to the working group. The closing date for receipt of submissions was 9 September 2019.
We sought views on the following four areas highlighted by the Supreme Court:
- the need for Oireachtas Committees to have clear terms of reference and to remain within them
- the need for clarity in relation to invitations issued from Committees to witnesses, and for the Committee to adhere to the terms of such invitations
- the conduct of hearings by the Committee as a whole, and the supervision of such hearings by the Chair
- the need for remedies to be available to persons who may be affected by a breach of their rights by a Committee
Terms of reference
Read the working group's terms of reference.