The Ceann Comhairle, Mr Séan Ó Fearghaíl TD, established a Forum on Parliamentary Privilege on 21 July 2017. The forum made its report to the Ceann Comhairle on 21 December 2017.
In carrying out its work, the forum examined the various factors impacting on the operation of privilege in the Dáil, including the provisions of the Constitution and the provisions of Standing Orders. The forum also examined the operation of parliamentary privilege in other jurisdictions, and a range of submissions on the subject of privilege, made by parliamentarians and others.
The forum has considered how privilege is necessary for TDs to fulfil their electoral mandate, but also how this has to be weighed up against the potentially adverse effects on people outside the House of things said in the Dáil Chamber. The forum examined the way in which these two factors should be balanced against each other, in a manner that supports the rights of TDs, while giving an opportunity to people outside the House to a ‘right of reply’.
The Report of the Forum on Parliamentary Privilege contains 12 recommendations designed to support and enhance the operation of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
You can read the terms of reference of the forum and the data protection policy for handling submissions received.