Perjury and Related Offences Bill 2018: Committee Stage

I apologise for the delay. I was coming back from the Convention Centre and it takes a little time to cross the Liffey, with our bilocation. We had the Order of Business and then I was back across here. We have apologies from Deputy Patrick Costello. Deputy Martin Kenny was also in the Convention Centre and hopes to make it across but he might be late for the same reason as myself.

The purpose of our meeting is to consider the Perjury and Related Offences Bill 2018 which I think originated in the Seanad.

I welcome the Minister of State at the Department of Justice with responsibility for law reform, Deputy James Browne.

In order to participate in a division on Committee Stage, members must be physically present. They cannot vote remotely in light of the pandemic restrictions. In view of the remote participation of members, in order to ensure contributions are accurately recorded, I ask that members wait until I call them by name before commencing their contributions, and use their raise hand facility when they wish to speak. We will keep an eye out for same and if we do not see them, I am sure they will make their presence felt. This has worked smoothly so far. Due to Covid restrictions, each session is limited to two hours.

SECTION 1

Amendments Nos. 1 to 6, inclusive, are related and may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 7, between lines 9 and 10, to insert the following:

“ “Act of 2020” means the Civil Law and Criminal Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020;”

Amendments Nos. 1 to 6, inclusive are technical amendments which amend section 1 of the Bill which provides for definitions.

Amendment No. 1 allows for the inclusion of a reference to the Civil Law and Criminal Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020, which is referenced in this Bill in respect of statements of truth.

Amendment No. 2 provides that enactment of this Bill has the same meaning as in the Interpretation Act 2005. Amendments Nos. 3 and 5 provide clarity regarding the interpretation of references to perjury and subornation of perjury under this Bill. Amendment No. 4 deletes the reference to "relevant Act" which is not now required in light of the wider and more comprehensive reference to "enactment" which will cover secondary as well as primary legislation for the purposes of qualifying offences under section 6 in respect of false statutory declarations and other false statements without oath.

Amendment No. 6 provides that section 21(3) of the Civil Law and Criminal Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 does not apply in the case of this Bill. This is because a subsection of the 2020 Act construes references in any enactments to affidavits and statutory declarations as references to statements of truth made in place of such affidavits and statutory declarations whereas in this Bill those affidavits and statutory declarations are treated separately and distinctly, and do not need to be included here. Effectively section 1 is the standard provision defining words and phrases used within the Bill.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 2:

In page 7, between lines 11 and 12, to insert the following:

“ “enactment” has the same meaning as it has in the Interpretation Act 2005;”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 3:

In page 7, to delete line 18 and substitute the following:

“ “perjury” shall, except where the context otherwise requires, be construed in accordance with section 2(1);”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 4:

In page 7, to delete lines 19 to 23.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 5:

In page 7, to delete line 26 and substitute the following:

“ “subornation of perjury” shall, except where the context otherwise requires, be construed in accordance with section 3(1);”

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 6:

In page 7, after line 28, to insert the following:

“(1) Section 21(3) of the Act of 2020 shall not apply in respect of any reference in this Act to an affidavit or a statutory declaration.”.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 1, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 2

I move amendment No. 7:

In page 8, lines 2 to 22, to delete all words from and including “ (1) If” in line 2 down to and including line 22 and substitute the following:

“(1) A person commits an offence (in this Act referred to as perjury) if he or she, in, or for the purpose of, a judicial or other proceeding, gives a statement material in the proceeding—

(a) while lawfully sworn as a witness or as an interpreter,

(b) on affidavit, or

(c) in a statement of truth made in place of an affidavit in accordance with section 21 of the Act of 2020,

that is false, and he or she knows to be false.

(2) Where, pursuant to an enactment, a statement is made by a person in a manner specified in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (1)

(a) within the State for the purposes of a proceeding outside the State and such proceeding corresponds to a judicial or other proceeding in the State, or

(b) outside the State for the purposes of a judicial or other proceeding within the State,

the statement shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as a statement made in such a manner in, or for the purpose of, a judicial or other proceeding in the State.

(3) Where proceedings are brought against a person for the alleged commission of perjury, the question as to whether a statement given by the person was material in a judicial or other proceeding is a question of law to be determined by the court of trial in the proceedings for perjury.”.

This amendment to section 2 of the Bill amends the definition of perjury so that it may apply to statements of truth in addition to sworn statements and affidavits. The Civil Law and Criminal Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 was signed into law on 6 August 2020. This Act includes a provision for statements of truth in civil proceedings. Section 21(3) of the Act describes statements of truth as an electronic form of statement that can be made in place of a sworn affidavit or statutory declaration in civil proceedings. It is important for this Bill to take account of them in section 2 so that a person making a false statement of truth will be guilty of perjury. This is an important safeguard in respect of those statements which are made in place of affidavits.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 2, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 3

I move amendment No. 8:

In page 8, lines 26 to 31, to delete all words from and including “ (1) Without” in line 26 down to and including line 31 and substitute the following:

(1) A person commits an offence (in this Act referred to as subornation of perjury) if he or she procures, persuades, induces or otherwise causes another person to commit perjury, knowing or being reckless as to whether the other person is committing such offence.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), it shall be immaterial whether or not the other person referred to in that subsection has been convicted of the perjury to which the alleged subornation of perjury relates.

(3) Where proceedings are brought against a person for the alleged commission of subornation of perjury, the question as to whether a statement given by the other person referred to in subsection (1) was material in a judicial or other proceeding is a question of law to be determined by the court of trial in the proceedings for subornation of perjury.”.

This amendment is necessary to provide a clear definition of subornation of perjury in section 3. Subornation of perjury means persuading another person to commit perjury. This is a serious matter because of the effect it has on legal proceedings. The section provides that a prosecution for subornation of perjury can take place even where the person committing the perjury in question has not been committed of the offence. The perpetrator of the offence of subordination of perjury must know or be reckless to the fact that the other person is committing perjury. This means they must at least know there is a significant risk that perjury would be committed as a result of their actions and they press ahead regardless.

I want to look into the provision of it being immaterial whether a person referred to in the subsection (2) has been convicted of perjury.

Is this section 3(2), which is at line 30?

I just want to raise the possibility that I might come back to it on Report Stage.

Is the Deputy referring to section 3(2) on line 30?

The Deputy is saying he may come in on that on Report Stage, which is his entitlement.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 3, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 4

I move amendment No. 9:

In page 8, to delete lines 35 to 38, and in page 9, to delete lines 1 to 6 and substitute the following:

(1) Where, on or after the coming into operation of this subsection, a person commits an offence referred to as perjury, howsoever described, in an enactment specified in Schedule 1, he or she shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished as if he or she were guilty of perjury under this Act.

(2) A reference in an enactment specified in Schedule 2 to perjury or to subornation of perjury, howsoever described, in relation to an act committed on or after the coming into operation of this subsection, shall be construed as a reference to perjury or to subornation of perjury, as the case may be, within the meaning of this Act.”.

Section 4 of the Bill provides clarity as to how existing references to perjury and subornation of perjury in other enactments in Irish law should be dealt with. It provides that such references are to be read and construed in accordance with definitions of perjury and subornation of perjury in this Bill. This amendment separates the different types of references already on our Statute Book into schedules for clarity.

The amendment also makes clear that where an offence of perjury is committed under an older enactment listed in Schedule 1, the offender shall be liable to be proceeded against under this new proposed Act. Similarly, the section is amended to set out that references to perjury and subornation of perjury listed in Schedule 2 are to be construed in accordance with their definitions within the Bill. In effect, section 4 provides that references in any law or enactment to perjury or subornation of perjury shall be read as references to perjury or subornation of perjury and not to commit perjury as provided for in relevant sections to this Bill.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 4, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 5

Amendments Nos. 10 to 19, inclusive, are related and may be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 10:

In page 9, line 10, to delete “dishonestly” where it firstly occurs.

Amendments Nos. 10 and 11 are technical amendments to the wording of this section on the advice of the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel. It is not necessary to use the adverb" dishonestly" for the purposes of this section. The view taken is that its inclusion serves no useful purpose. I am satisfied that there is sufficient qualification of the acts referred to in sections 5(1)(a) and 5(1)(b). Section 5(1) applies to false statements made on oath made otherwise than in judicial or other proceedings.

Amendment No. 12 makes it clearer that this subsection applies in those limited circumstances where false statements on oath are made outside and removed from the context of judicial and other proceedings. Amendment No. 13 is a technical amendment to section 5(2) of the Bill and rewords that subsection so that it reads more clearly.

Section 6 provides for an offence in respect of false statutory declarations and other false statements without oath. Amendments Nos. 14 and 15 are technical amendments to the wording which are being made on the advice of the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel and to include a reference to statements of truth, consistent with its inclusion elsewhere in the Bill. Amendment No. 16 is a technical amendment which deletes the reference to material in those proceedings in section 6(1) regarding a person making a false statutory declaration or other false statement without oath.

The amendment makes it clear that the commission of any such offence is not limited to a context of proceedings and that such offences may arise otherwise than in proceedings.

Amendment No. 17 extends the ambit of potential offences in this section of the Bill to include false statements of truth made in place of statutory declarations, while amendments Nos. 18 and 19 extend the scope and application of the offences at subsections (1)(b) and (c) regarding the making of false statements and declarations so that they may apply to enactments rather than only Acts and, therefore, cover false statements and declarations made under secondary legislation as well as primary legislation.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 11:

In page 9, line 10, to delete “dishonestly” where it secondly occurs.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 12:

In page 9, line 11, to delete “material in those proceedings” and substitute “material for that purpose”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 13:

In page 9, to delete lines 15 to 17 and substitute the following:

“(2) A person who gives or causes to be given, or adduces or causes to be adduced, an affidavit for the purposes of the Bills of Sale (Ireland) Acts 1879 and 1883 that—

(a) is false in any material aspect, and

(b) he or she knows to be false, commits an offence.”.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 5, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 6

I move amendment No. 14:

In page 9, line 19, to delete “dishonestly”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 15:

In page 9, line 20, to delete “dishonestly”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 16:

In page 9, line 21, to delete “material in those proceedings”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 17

In page 9, between lines 23 and 24, to insert the following:

“(b) a statement of truth made in place of a statutory declaration in accordance with section 21 of the Act of 2020,”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 18:

In page 9, line 26, to delete “relevant Act” and substitute “enactment”.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 19:

In page 9, line 28, to delete “relevant Act” and substitute “enactment”.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 6, as amended, agreed to.
Section 7 agreed to.
SECTION 8
Question proposed: "That section 8 be deleted."

I am proposing that section 8 be deleted. Section 8 provides for an offence of making a false declaration or representation in obtaining registration for a professional calling. An extensive review of the regulated professions in the State was undertaken by my officials and it became apparent that those professions which maintain a statutory register for entry to the profession already provided a carefully calibrated set of penalties or sanctions for this type of offence, together with appropriate practical consequences that flow from such behaviour or conduct in falsely obtaining registration for the particular profession.

These existing penalties and sanctions in separate specific statutes are carefully tailored to the profession at hand and carry various forms of consequences which, in many cases, are quite sophisticated, ranging from removal from the register, for example, to several years imprisonment. Replacing all these with a simple perjury-related offence in this Bill would cause difficulties. It would hamper the ability of the responsible bodies to deal with attempts at false registrations in a tailored way, depending on the nature of the profession and its registration requirements. I consider it more appropriate that the existing relevant statutes and legal architecture across a range of health, social care and other specific roles requiring statutory registration in the State continue to provide for and deal with the matter of sanctioning the obtaining of false registration in such roles rather than doing so at a general level in the Bill, which would unnecessarily undermine the tailored approach that is already available to deal with this type of offence. In short, this is dealt with by each of the relevant professions within its legislation and registration rules. It would be unnecessary to try to duplicate that here in a more simplified manner.

Question put and agreed to.
SECTION 9

I move amendment No. 20:

In page 10, lines 14 and 15, to delete “an offence against this Act” and substitute “an offence under this Act”.

This is a technical amendment to adjust slightly the wording used in section 9 to the more usual formulation used in primary legislation.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 9, as amended, agreed to.
Section 10 agreed to.
SECTION 11

I move amendment No. 21:

In page 10, to delete line 27 and substitute the following:

“(b) for subornation of perjury in respect of perjury alleged to have been committed on any such trial,”.

This is a technical amendment to section 11 to bring the section in line with the other provisions of the Bill. Given the definition of "subornation of perjury" in section 3 which includes the act of procuring another person to commit perjury, it is not necessary to refer to procuring in this section in addition to, and in conjunction with, referring to subornation of perjury in paragraph (b) as it may unnecessarily confuse matters.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 11, as amended, agreed to.
Sections 12 and 13 agreed to.
NEW SECTION

Amendments No. 23 and 24 are related to amendment No. 22.

I move amendment No. 22:

In page 11, between lines 10 and 11, to insert the following:

“Liability of directors and officers of corporate bodies

14. (1) Where an offence under this Act is committed by a body corporate and the offence is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to be attributable to any wilful neglect of, a person who, when the offence was committed, was a director, manager, secretary or other officer of the body corporate or of a person purporting to act in such a capacity, that person, as well as the body corporate, is guilty of an offence and is liable to be proceeded against and punished as if guilty of the first-mentioned offence.

(2) Where the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members, subsection (1) applies in relation to the acts or defaults of a member in connection with his or her functions of management as if he or she were a director or manager of the body corporate.”.

Amendment No. 22 creates a new section in the Bill to provide that directors and other officers of a body corporate may be liable to be proceeded against under the Bill where the offence is committed by the body corporate with the connivance of a director or other officer. This is a necessary and common provision in statutes such as this whereby offences can be committed by a body corporate but there stands an additional liability for directors if the offence is proven to be committed with their consent or connivance. It is important, therefore, that I make provision for it in the Bill so that offences of this type are not overlooked.

Amendment agreed to.
SECTION 14

I move amendment No. 23:

In page 11, lines 12 to 14, to delete all words from and including “ (1) Proceedings” in line 12 down to and including line 14 and substitute the following:

(1) No proceedings for an offence under this Act, or for an offence of perjury or subornation of perjury under any other enactment or law, shall be brought except by, or with the consent of, the Director of Public Prosecutions.”.

This amendment revises the wording slightly in section 14 in accordance with the usual formulation used in primary legislation stipulating that no proceedings under this proposed Act or for an offence of perjury or subornation of perjury shall be brought except by, or with the consent of, the Director of Public Prosecutions. It also extends the capacity for the bringing of proceedings to enactments which are inclusive of secondary legislation rather than limiting this capacity to bring proceedings to relevant primary legislation.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 24:

In page 11, line 16, to delete “offence under this section” and substitute the following:

“offence under this Act or an offence of perjury or subornation of perjury under any other enactment or law”.

This amendment amends the reference to summary proceedings in section 14(2) of the Bill so that it reads "summary proceedings in relation to an offence under this Act or an offence of perjury or subornation of perjury under any other enactment or law". This is a technical amendment to the wording on the advice of the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 14, as amended, agreed to.
SECTION 15

Amendments Nos. 25 and 26 are related and will be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 25:

In page 11, between lines 25 and 26, to insert the following:

“(1) Where the making of a false statement is—

(a) an offence under section 5 or 6 of this Act, and

(b) an offence that is punishable on summary conviction only under another enactment that came into operation before the coming into operation of this Act,

a person shall be liable to be proceeded against for such an offence under the other enactment only.”.

Amendment No. 25 provides for a re-wording of section 15(3) of the Bill, which provides that relevant offences punishable exclusively on summary conviction under other enactments may be proceeded against under the other enactment only, to avoid the possibility of the imposition of a higher penalty being imposed than would otherwise apply when the alleged offence was committed. The amendment further amends section 15(3) to provide that relevant offences under other enactments are limited to offences set out in sections 5 and 6 of the Bill in respect of false statements on oath made otherwise than in judicial and other proceedings and false statutory declarations and other false statements without oath.

Section 4 already provides that all references to perjury and subornation of perjury will either mean a person is liable to be proceeded against and punished as if he or she were guilty of perjury under the Bill where the reference will be construed as a reference to perjury under this Bill.

Amendment No. 26 deletes section 15(2) of the Bill on the basis of advice received from the Office of the Attorney General that the inclusion of this subsection, which provides that this Bill does not apply to a statement without oath by a child under Part 3 of the Children Act 1997 regarding evidence of children in civil proceedings, is not needed as none of the provisions of this Bill would apply to such unsworn evidence in the first place and, therefore, this subsection serves no purpose and is proposed for deletion.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 26:

In page 11, to delete lines 31 to 39, and in page 12, to delete line 1.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 15, as amended, agreed to.
Section 16 agreed to.
SECTION 17

Amendments Nos. 27 and 28 are related.

I move amendment No. 27:

In page 12, line 8, to delete “Perjury and Related Offences Act 2019” and substitute “Criminal Justice (Perjury and Related Offences) Act 2021”.

Amendment No. 27 amends the short title of the Bill in accordance with the usual formulation used for Government Bills, which provides for criminal offences by renaming it the Criminal Justice (Perjury and Related Offences) Act 2021. Amendment No. 28 is a technical amendment to the commencement power provided for in section 17(5) of the Bill by amending the title of the Minister to Minister for Justice in accordance with the Alteration of Title Order, which took effect on 1 November 2020.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 28:

In page 12, line 20, to delete “Minister” and substitute “Minister for Justice”.

Amendment agreed to.
Section 17, as amended, agreed to.
SCHEDULE 1

I move amendment No. 29:

In page 13, between lines 1 and 2, to insert the following:

“SCHEDULE 1

Section 4(1)

1. Foreign Tribunals Evidence Act 1856, section 3

2. Public Works Loans Act 1875, section 44

3. General Prisons (Ireland) Act 1877, section 11

4. Dundalk Harbour and Port Act 1925, section 73(8)

5. Arterial Drainage Act 1925, section 28(2)

6. Limerick Harbour Act 1926, section 24(9)

7. River Owenmore Drainage Act 1926, section 19(2)

8. Barrow Drainage Act 1927, section 30(2)

9. Electricity (Supply) Act 1927, section 88(4)

10. Cork Harbour Act 1933, section 7(9)

11. Galway Harbour Act 1935, section 58(9)

12. Shops (Hours of Trading) Act 1938, section 5(2)

13. Industrial Alcohol Act 1938, section 29(2)

14. Turf Development Act 1946, section 42(2)

15. Coast Protection Act 1963, section 27(2)

16. Fishery Harbour Centres Act 1968, section 2(6)

17. Court of Justice of the European Communities (Perjury) Act 1975, section 1

18. Gas Act 1976, Second Schedule, Article 7(3)

19. Criminal Evidence Act 1992, section 29(3)

20. Diplomatic and Consular Officers (Provision of Services) Act 1993, section 6

21. Children Act 1997, section 21(3)

22. Employment Permits Act 2006, section 35(4)

SCHEDULE 2

Section 4(2)

1. Tumultuous Risings Act 1775, sections 16 and 22

2. Dublin Police Magistrates Act 1808, sections 57 and 124

3. Evidence (Ireland) Act 1815, section 8

4. Evidence on Commission Act 1831, section 7

5. Church Temporalities Act 1833, section 123

6. Civil Procedure Act 1833, section 23

7. Debtors (Ireland) Act 1840, section 78

8. Perpetuation of Testimony Act 1842, section 1

9. Lands Clauses Consolidation Act 1845, section 149

10. Railways Clauses Consolidation Act 1845, section 160

11. Markets and Fairs Clauses Act 1847, section 57

12. Gasworks Clauses Act 1847, section 44

13. Harbours, Docks, and Piers Clauses Act 1847, section 96

14. Cemeteries Clauses Act 1847, section 65

15. Town Police Clauses Act 1847, section 76

16. Attachment of Goods (Ireland) Act 1850, section 10

17. Civil Bill Courts (Ireland) Act 1851, section 104

18. Fines Act (Ireland) 1851, section 6(2)

19. Dublin Carriage Act 1853, sections 66 and 68

20. Convict Prisons (Ireland) Act 1854, section 21

21. Chancery and Common Law Offices (Ireland) Act 1867, sections 17, 45 and 53

22. Commissioners For Oaths (Ireland) Act 1872, sections 5 and 9

23. Slave Trade Act 1873, section 22

24. Public Health (Ireland) Act 1878, section 262

25. Explosive Substances Act 1883, section 6(2)

26. Central Bank Act 1942, section 33BA(8)

27. Criminal Justice Act 1951, First Schedule, reference number 3

28. Solicitors (Amendment) Act 1960, section 29

29. Extradition Act 1965, section 3(1)

30. Redundancy Payments Act 1967, section 39(17)

31. Local Elections (Petitions and Disqualifications) Act 1974, section 20(2)

32. Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act 1976, section 12(8)

33. Bankruptcy Act 1988, section 21(4)

34. Child Abduction and Enforcement of Custody Orders Act 1991, section 36(5)

35. Patents Act 1992, section 130(3)

36. Criminal Evidence Act 1992, section 27(2)

37. Electoral Act 1992, Third Schedule, Rule 15

38. Referendum Act 1994, section 52(2)

39. Ethics in Public Office Act 1995, section 32(5)

40. Proceeds of Crime Act 1996, sections 9(2) and 16B(6)(b)

41. European Parliament Elections Act 1997, Schedule 2, Rule 142(2)

42. Taxes Consolidation Act 1997, section 1066 and Schedule 27

43. Children Act 1997, section 28(2)

44. Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Act 2000, section 14(7)

45. Valuation Act 2001, Schedule 2, paragraph 10

46. Children Act 2001, section 255(5)

47. Mental Health Act 2001, section 49(5)

48. Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002, section 7(6)

49. Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, section 333(11)

50. Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006, section 12(5)

51. Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act 2008, section 2(1)

52. Criminal Procedure Act 2010, section 7

53. Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013, sections 29(1), 75(2), 81(1) and 90(2)

54. Companies Act 2014, section 671(7), subsections (1) and (3) of section 881 and sections 931A(7), 938(7) and 1500(3)

55. Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman Act 2017, section 47(10)

56. Judicial Council Act 2019, subsections (4) and (6) of section 69

57. Rules of Procedure (Defence Forces) 2019 (S.I. No. 555 of 2019), Rule 61

58. Companies Act 2014 (Procedures Governing the Conduct of Section 934 Investigations) Regulations 2020 (S.I. No. 16 of 2020), Regulation 8(9)”.

Amendments Nos. 29 to 35, inclusive, are a series of technical amendments to the existing Schedules 1 and 2 of the Bill. Amendment No. 29 updates Schedule 1 to reflect changes to section 4 of the Bill. That section, as now amended, provides that where an offence of perjury is committed under an older enactment, which is set out in Schedule 1, the offender shall be liable to proceedings against him or her under this new Act. Similarly, the schedule is amended so that references to perjury and subornation of perjury, which are now set out in the new Schedule 2, are to be construed in accordance with their definitions in this proposed Act. Schedule 2 of the Bill currently provides for amendments to certain older Acts that contain perjury provisions so that they may be consolidated under this proposed Act having this new statute applied to them.

Many of the Schedule 2 amendments delete penalty provisions for false statements in historic legislation so that they may be replaced by the penalties sections within this Bill. This, in combination, with the approach taken in section 4 and Schedule 1 of this Bill provides a more consistent approach so that perjury offences under other older enactments are subject to the relevant provisions of this Bill. Amendment No. 30 is a technical amendment that deletes a provision deleting section 2 of the Perjury Act 1791 from Schedule 2. This amendment is not required as that section of the 1791 Act has already been repealed by the Statute Law Revision (Ireland Act) 1879. Amendments Nos. 31 to 33, inclusive, are technical amendments to the text in Schedule 2 pertaining, respectively, to the Assurance Companies Act 1909, the Checkweighing in Various Industries Act 1919 and the Statutory Declarations Act 1938 to update the reference to this proposed Act in that amending text and to provide that the text is read more clearly.

Amendment No. 34 deletes the text providing for changes to the Dentists Act 1985 with regard to updating penalties for falsely obtaining registration under that Act. This deletion is no longer required or warranted as section 8 is to be deleted from the Bill for the reasons I outlined earlier. Amendment No. 35 is a standard amending provision to the Bail Act 1997 in providing that specified serious offences are added to the schedule of the Act. A serious offence under that Act means an offence for which a person of full capacity and not previously convicted may be punished for a term of imprisonment for a term of five years or by a more severe penalty. Offences under this proposed Act are, therefore, to be added to the schedule of the Bail Act.

Amendment agreed to.
Schedule 1, as amended, agreed to.
SCHEDULE 2

I move amendment No. 30:

In page 16, to delete lines 24 and 25.

I move amendment No. 31:

In page 20, to delete lines 11 to 22 and substitute the following:

9 Edw. 7 c. 49

Assurance Companies Act 1909

Section 24

Substitute for section:

“Penalty for falsifying

statements etc.

24. If any account balance sheet, abstract, statement, or other document required by this Act is false in any particular to the knowledge of any person who signs it, that person shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished as if he or she were guilty of an offence under section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Perjury and Related Offences) Act 2021.”.

"

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 32:

In page 20, to delete lines 23 to 35 and substitute the following:

"

9 & 10 Geo. 5 c. 51

Checkweighing in Various Industries Act 1919

Section 3

In subsection (4) substitute “that person shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished as if he or she were guilty of an offence under section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Perjury and Related Offences) Act 2021.” for “he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and liable to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine, or to both such imprisonment and fine.”.

"

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 33:

In page 20, to delete lines 36 to 45 and substitute the following:

"

No. 37 of 1938

Statutory Declarations Act 1938

Section 6

Substitute for section:

“Penalty for false declaration

6. Every person who makes a statutory declaration which to his or her knowledge is false in any material respect shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished as if he or she were guilty of an offence under section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Perjury and Related Offences) Act 2021.”.

"

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 34:

In page 21, to delete lines 1 to 11.

Amendment agreed to.

I move amendment No. 35:

In page 21, after line 11, to insert the following:

"

No. 16 of 1997

Bail Act 1997

Schedule

Insert the following paragraph after paragraph 42:

“Offences under the Criminal Justice (Perjury and Related Offences) Act

2021

43. Any offence under the Criminal Justice (Perjury and Related Offences) Act 2021.”.

"

Amendment agreed to.
Schedule 2, as amended, agreed to.
TITLE

I move amendment No. 36:

In page 7, to delete lines 5 and 6 and substitute the following:

“An Act to provide for offences relating to perjury, subornation of perjury, the making of certain false statements, the fabrication of evidence and other related matters; for those purposes to amend certain enactments; and to provide for related matters.”.

This amendment arises on foot of a proposed new wording from the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel as to the long title of the Bill so that it more accurately and comprehensively characterises and describes its provisions.

Amendment agreed to.
Title, as amended, agreed to.
Bill reported with amendment.