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Bill to extend Seanad university franchise
Pic: RollingNews.ie

17 May 2024 / legislation Print

Bill to extend Seanad university franchise

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is inviting submissions from the public on a draft bill that would extend the franchise for electing university members of Seanad Éireann.

This follows a Supreme Court decision last year to suspend until 31 May 2025 a declaration that the laws governing the elections of Seanad University Panels were invalid. The court had earlier upheld a challenge to the constitutionality of the laws.

The existing system allows for three members each to be elected by graduates of the National University of Ireland (NUI) and Trinity College Dublin.

New constituency

Under the general scheme of the Seanad Electoral (University Members) (Amendment) Bill 2024, graduates who are Irish citizens and who hold a degree from a designated institution of higher education in Ireland would be eligible to elect university members of the Seanad.

The proposals would apply to graduates of any such institution designated under section 53 or section 54 of the Higher Education Authority Act 2022.

The proposed bill would also set up a new six-seat ‘Higher Education’ constituency for electing university members, to replace the existing NUI and Trinity constituencies.

The bill includes other provisions linked to the process for electing university members, and a system for filling vacancies that would replace the existing by-election system.

Submissions to the public consultation can be made by e-mail to Franchise@housing.gov.ie, or by post to Franchise Unit, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. Custom House. Dublin 1, D01 W6X0 by 5pm on Friday 14 June.

Gazette Desk
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