Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Ceisteanna (308)

John Bruton

Ceist:

437 Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will undertake a study of all orders made by him that could now be considered to be potentially in breach of Article 25 of the Constitution in view of the judgment of the High Court that the Aliens Order was unconstitutional due to the fact that it constituted an attempt to determine by secondary legislation a matter that ought to have been determined by the Oireachtas itself; if he intends to undertake the introduction of any legislation to remove the constitutional infirmity of any existing orders in view of this judgment; and if not, the reason therefor. [2739/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

The Government has brought forward the Immigration Bill 2004 to address the immediate situation arising from the High Court finding that parts of the Aliens Order 1946 are invalid. The Bill restates in primary statute form, and with a small number of changes, the contents of the Aliens Order 1946 as it was presumed to be in effect up the date of the High Court judgment. It passed all stages in Seanad Éireann last Friday. I look forward to the debate on it in the House this week.

As indicated in my reply to Question No. 304 of 28 January 2004 and Question No. 64 of 29 January 2004, it is intended to appeal the High Court decision of 22 January. The issue raised by the decision is whether section 2 of the Immigration Act 1999 is, or is not, a constitutionally permissible method of giving the effect of primary statute law to secondary legislation, and not as characterised in the Deputy's question. The question of carrying out a study of the kind mentioned in the Deputy's question does not arise.