Seanad Éireann - Volume 80 - 10 April, 1975

Law Reform Commission Bill, 1975: Fifth Stage.

Question proposed: “That the Bill do now pass.”

Mr. Lenihan: I would like to emphasise one point. I was in the European Parliament this morning when we had the unfortunate experience of the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill being jack-booted through its First Stage.

I regard this Bill as a very constructive Bill introduced very ably by the Attorney General. This is the way a Government should behave. This Bill has been discussed in a constructive way by the Seanad as a whole. We are in a minority position in the Seanad. We have taken a constructive and positive attitude to all constructive and positive measures which have come here in the form of legislation. We have done so in regard to this Bill. We will not do so in regard to any legislation that is jack-booted through the Seanad.

As far as the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill is concerned, on its [270] Second Stage, I am again laying it on the line, as far as the Government are concerned it will not be a matter of having a debate of the kind we have had today. We will be totally opposed to it. We will fight it every section and subsection and make our views known in a very positive manner, because we regard it as nothing short of a disgraceful draconian procedure to seek to use the artificial majority which the Government have in the Seanad to jack-boot this legislation through, following on the shambles of Sunningdale.

An Cathaoirleach: I am afraid I have to tell the Senator the remarks he has been making, both complimentary and uncomplimentary, are out of order because we are only concerned now with the contents of this Bill.

Mr. Lenihan: As far as the contents of the Law Reform Commission Bill are concerned I would like to make the point that this is an excellent Bill. Now that it is being enacted the appropriate administration to make it work must be established otherwise, we will be faced with the frustrations of yet another commission producing reports, making recommendations and not producing action. In so far as this Bill represents an attempt to grapple with the problem of reactivating law reform, I welcome it. I want to emphasise that that would be the attitude of this side of the House towards constructive legislation rather than anti-national or destructive legislation.

Mr. Costello: I do not want to wander into areas where I may be out of order but may I say that I note from the Senator's view that he thought the behaviour of the Government on this legislation was proper. I would reply that I note that the behaviour of the Opposition on this Bill was proper. I do not wish to express my views on their earlier behaviour today.

Question put and agreed to.

The Seanad adjourned at 6.40 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, 16th April, 1975.