25 Jul 2019, 17.16

Following the two judgments of the Supreme Court in Kerins v McGuinness and Ors (Kerins v Dail Eireann & ors) [2019] IESC 11 and [2019] IESC 42, the Houses of the Oireachtas are conducting a review of their procedures, in particular their Standing Orders (Rules of Procedure), to ensure that the rights of citizens are respected throughout the parliamentary process. In this context, the Dáil Committee on Procedure and the Seanad Committee on Procedure and Privileges (‘the Committees’) have established a working group of parliamentary officials to consider solutions and responses to the judgments and to report back to the Committees at an early date in respect of the following matters:

 

  • House and Committee procedures,
  • Oversight mechanisms,
  • Citizens’ rights, and also remedies and sanctions, and
  • The role of the Houses of the Oireachtas Service.

The Working Group has decided to seek views, in the form of written submissions, from relevant stakeholders 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; and
  • The need for remedies to be available to persons who may be affected by a breach of their rights by a Committee.

Closing date for receipt of submissions is Monday, September 9 and further information can be found here

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