Dáil Éireann - Volume 608 - 20 October, 2005

Written Answers - Proposed Legislation.

  37. Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the progress he has made towards drafting new defamation legislation; if such legislation is conditional on the introduction of prior privacy legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29756/05]

  Mr. McDowell: As indicated in the Government legislative programme, announced by the Chief Whip on 27 September 2005, the Defamation Bill is in the course of being drafted with a view to being published in early 2006. As part of the process of reform in this area, an expert group has been established, chaired by Mr. Brian Murray SC, to consider and prepare an appropriate legislative basis for the protection of privacy which would be consistent with freedom of expression. The group is expected to make a report in the coming months. The Government will then be in a position to consider the various options on the subject. The Government’s decision on any action to be taken will be announced in due course.