The Government has published its legislative programme for the forthcoming session of the Oireachtas, which contains 39 bills for publication and priority drafting.
The list includes a number of bills from the Department of Justice – including the Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence Agency Bill.
Chief Whip Hildegarde Naughton (pictured) said that this bill, which establishes an agency with responsibility for co-ordinating Government actions in this area, would be published during the summer term.
She added that legislation on the proposed auto-enrolment pension system would be published by the Minister for Social Protection when pre-legislative scrutiny had concluded.
O’Malley review recommendations
A second justice bill listed for priority publication is the Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences and Human Trafficking) Bill, which provides for legislative amendments arising from the O’Malley Review and recommendations from the Law Reform Commission. This bill will also put the National Referral Mechanism for human trafficking on a statutory footing.
A number of other bills from the Department of Justice are also listed for priority drafting during the forthcoming term:
- The Defamation (Amendment) Bill to update aspects of defamation law,
- The Garda Síochána (Powers) Bill, which codifies police powers of search, arrest and detention, and the procedural rights of suspects,
- The Inspection of Places of Detention Bill, and
- The Sale of Alcohol Bill, which modernises the laws on the sale and consumption of alcohol.
Among other key bills listed for priority publication in other departments are the Department of Health’s Safe Access Zones Bill, aimed at ensuring safe access to premises at which termination of pregnancy services may be provided, and proposals for a temporary tax on the windfall profits made by some energy companies.