Upcoming Legislation

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The Government have published the Legislative Agenda for the summer session. The following bills will be published

  • Veterinary Practice (Amendment) Bill
  • Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill
  • Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Bill
  • Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Bill
  • Patents (Amendment) Bill
  • Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Bill
  • Electoral Commission Bill
  • Local Government Services Corporate Bodies (Amendment) Bill
  • Betting (Amendment) Bill
  • Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Bill
  • Finance (No. 2) Bill
  • Fiscal Responsibility Bill
  • Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill
  • Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme) Bill
  • Courts (Enforcement of Maintenance and Appointment of Taxing Master) Bill
  • Criminal Justice Bill
  • European Arrest Warrant (Extension) and Extradition (Amendment) Bill
  • Spent Convictions Bil
  • Social Welfare and Pensions Bill
  • National Tourism Development Authority (Amendment) Bill

So there are 20 bills to be added to one that has been published, Criminal Justice (Community Service) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2011. In addition the Government have agreed the heads of 41 other bills and they have also 105 possible bills under which the heads have not been agreed by Government,

Bills  of interest will the Finance act as that will bring in the tax provisions of the Civil Partnership Act. Also the other acts surrounding the banks will be of interest. The powers that will be granted to the Electoral Commission and the banning of corporate donations (including those from Unions) will also be ones to watch.

European Union Bill Returns to the Commons

Today the House of Commons will consider as a Committee of the whole house, the European Union Bill. This will mean that in future the United Kingdom will have to hold a referendum on future treaties which amend the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Function of the European Union

Under the Bill the UK will have to hold a referendum if the treaty meets one of these conditions:

(a) the extension of the objectives of the EU as set out in Article 3 of TEU;

(b) the conferring on the EU of a new exclusive competence;

(c) the extension of an exclusive competence of the EU;

(d) the conferring on the EU of a new competence shared with the member  States;

(e) the extension of any competence of the EU that is shared with the member States;

(f) the extension of the competence of the EU in relation to—

(i) the co-ordination of economic and employment policies, or

(ii) common foreign and security policy;

(g) the conferring on the EU of a new competence to carry out actions to support, co-ordinate or supplement the actions of member States;

(h) the extension of a supporting, co-ordinating or supplementing competence of the EU;

(i) the conferring on an EU institution or body of power to impose a requirement or obligation on the United Kingdom, or the removal of any limitation on any such power of an EU institution or body;

(j) the conferring on an EU institution or body of new or extended power to impose sanctions on the United Kingdom;

(k) any amendment of a provision listed in Schedule 1 that removes a requirement that anything should be done unanimously, by consensusor by common accord;

(l) any amendment of Article 31(2) of TEU (decisions relating to common foreign and security policy to which qualified majority voting applies) that removes or amends the provision enabling a member of the Council to oppose the adoption of a decision to be taken by qualified majority voting;

(m) any amendment of any of the provisions specified in subsection (3) that removes or amends the provision enabling a member of the Council, in relation to a draft legislative act, to ensure the suspension of the ordinary legislative procedure

It is important to note that if the treaty does any of the following, a Referendum is not needed and an Act of Parliament would suffice,

(a) the codification of practice under TEU or TFEU in relation to the previous exercise of an existing competence;
(b) the making of any provision that applies only to member States other than the United Kingdom;
(c) in the case of a treaty, the accession of a new member State.

It is an interesting idea from the Coalition Government. Maybe it is something we should consider doing here as it would remove some of the confusion that it exists in relation to the Crotty Judgement and would set out when we actually do need to hold a referendum on European Treaties.

Hattip: Archbishop Cranmer

Related Links:

Morning Briefing, 7th March

Dia Duit!

Rinne mé dearmad ar Seachtain na Gaeilge atá ar suil an seachatin seo! Tá dhá bebo agus myspace amhain or an idirlion!

SnaG – SeachtainNaGaeilge.bebo.com

Ceol – SnaGCeol.bebo.com


An nuacht ar an maidin seo!

Northern Ireland goes goes to the polls today in a very decisive election. (CNN, Breakingnews, RTÉ, BBC, France 24) The Polls are open until 10pm tonight with the counting begining tomorrow. 250 candidates are contesting 108 seats. The election is by PRSTV, so transfers are critical for the last seats in each constituency, just like down here in the south!

Trocaire is to challenge the ban on its advertising (Breakingnews). This will be an interesting challenge, first time id say a charity has been forced to pull its ads!

Commonwealth troops serving in the Britsih Armed Forces are to form their own union. (BBC) They seam to be very dissatisfied with their treatment in the army.

The Dáil has passed rushed legislation to outlaw the soliciting children for sex. (RTÉ, Breakingnews). The Bill will go through the Seanad today and then onto the President of signature.

UK MP’s will have a free vote today on house of Lord’s Reform after two days of debate (BBC). There is a range of option on the table. The choices before MPs are: all elected; 80% elected and 20% appointed; 60% elected and 40% appointed; half and half; 40% elected and 60% appointed; 20% elected and 80% appointed; all appointed. Its is expected that a mixture will be the preffered option.

bhuel sinn é!


Morning Briefing, 5th March

Good Morning,I hope no one is suffering from ill effects of superstitions linked to lunar eclipses!!! (or still suffering from hangovers from the Irish Blog Awards or whatever they got up to at the weekend!!)

An Nuachtr ar an maidin seo!

Fine Gael are to introduce a bill into the Dáil this week to outlaw the sexual “grooming” of children on the Internet. (Breakingnews) This is well overdue having been on the order paper since 2004!

A new poll out today shows 68% of those surveyed would support a ban on hare coursing with 72% agreeing its a cruel practice (RTÉ). I am against hunting in Ireland, and actually spoke against it at my very first YFG Conference way back when.

A leading psychiatrist, Professor Patricia Casey, has branded Irish psychiatric services a ‘third world country’ (Irish Examiner). From my own experiences shes right. I have a appointment on Thursday in the CUH, and I will be waiting a long time to be seen!

The Cherokee Nation has voted out descendants of freed slaves from the Tribe. (CNN) This has led to accusations of racism. Well in my opinion, its not exactly fair like!

That’s all for now!


Dont wear a red nose near westminister!!

I started clicking on the new Lib Dem buttons and came across this by Tim Ireland How to avoid arrest on Red Nose Day. Its probably also true that on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, should you wear the shamrock you could also be arrested under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, its crazy!! Britain repeal this crazy piece of legislation!!

28th Amendemnt of the Constitution (Childrens Rights Amendment)

Well i eventually found the wording of the amendment and here it is from the DOHC website


Article 42(A)

1. The State acknowledges and affirms the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children.


-In exceptional cases, where the parents of any child for physical or moral reasons fail in their duty towards such child, the State as guardian of the common good, by appropriate means shall endeavour to supply the place of the parents, but always with due regard for the natural and imprescriptible rights of the child.
-Provision may be made by law for the adoption of a child where the parents have failed for such a period of time as may be prescribed by law in their duty towards the child, and where the best interests of the child so require.

3. Provision may be made by law for the voluntary placement for adoption and the adoption of any child.

4. Provision may be made by law that in proceedings before any court concerning the adoption, guardianship or custody of, or access to, any child, the court shall endeavour to secure the best interests of the child.


-Provision may be made by law for the collection and exchange of information relating to the endangerment, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, or risk thereof, of children, or other persons of such a class or classes as may be prescribed by law.
-No provision in this Constitution invalidates any law providing for offences of absolute or strict liability committed against or in connection with a child under 18 years of age.
-The provisions of this section of this Article do not, in any way, limit the powers of the Oireachtas to provide by law for other offences of absolute or strict liability.

I’m a bit worried about the wording of section 2 as it uses the words ‘moral reasons’. I dont like that.

Civil Union Bill – Open letter to minister McDowell

Minister McDowell,

I am writing to you voice my disgust at you comments in the house tonight on the Civil Union Bill. You claimed that the Labour party have done nothing for the LGB community, then what do call the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1993, which the Progressive Democrats could have dealt with when they were in power pre 1992.

You Minister claimed that this bill does nothing for LGB couples, this bill will improve the quality of life and security for LGB couples. This bill will do more for LGB couples then what so far has been suggested.

No bill will satisfy everyone in Ireland.

I am disgusted that you in the government would table a last minute amendment to postpone the bill. This is unfavourable treatment of this bill and I am appalled at it. I was considering transferring my vote to the Progressive Democrats, but from the proceedings in the house tonight I have realised that the PD’s may not be currently the ‘liberal’ party in Ireland.

This Government once again delays the implementation of important legislation.

I look forward to hearing from you on this issue

Yours in Pride
Stephen Spillane

E-mail info@michaelmcdowell.ie to voice your concerns

Civil Union Bill 2007

Well the Govt. have effectively sounded the death knell for this bill. They have tabled a reasoned amendment to the bill delaying the second stage for 6 months, well beyond the life of the current Dáil, meaning the bill will fall when the election is called.

Please lobby your Fianna Fail and Progressive Democrat TD’s to oppose the amendment!

Civil Unions Bill 2007 – Get Lobbying!

On Wednesday evening, the Dail votes on the Labour Party Civil Union Bill, proposed by Brendan Howlin, TD.
Based on USI’s lobbying to date, we estimate that we have around 70 of the required 83 votes for the bill to pass this stage. The Government will decide at Cabinet tomorrow (Tuesday) its position on the bill. If the Government opposes it, and they likely will, that will mean that unless we can find 15 TDs on the Government benches to support it, the bill will be defeated.

USI has identified the following TDs as members who may support the bill if pressure is applied. Between now and Wednesday, we need you to circulate this email to everyone on your mailing list, and ask them to contact these TDs before Wednesday, asking them to switch sides and support the bill.
Even if only one or two do so, it will be a big story, and a massive boost to the campaign. John Mc Guirk and I have spent the day ringing, emailing, and faxing party whips, individual TDs, press offices, and anyone who would listen to us!!

Remember, fax, email, and phone these TDs constantly and ask them to VOTE YES on the Labour Party Civil Unions Bill.

Sile De Valera – FF 01 6183000 sile.devalera@oireachtas.ie

Dennis O’Donovan – FF 01 61833079 dennis.odonovan@oireachtas.ie

Dermot Fitzpatrick – FF 01 6183699 dermot.fitzpatrick@oireachtas.ie

Jim Glennon – FF 01 6183910 jim.glennon@oireachtas.ie

Barry Andrews – FF 01 6183856 barry.andrews@oireachtas.ie

Fiona O’Malley – PD 01 6183062 fiona.omalley@oireachtas.ie

Peter Power – FF 01 6184232 peter.power@oireachtas.ie

Mae Sexton – PD 01 6183361 mae.sexton@oireachtas.ie

Mildred Fox – IND 01 6183548 mildred.fox@oireachtas.ie

Jerry Cowley – IND 01 6184050 jerry.cowley@oireachtas.ie

Marian Harkin – IND 071 9145890 marian.harkin@oireachtas.ie

Soldiers pimped in Russia

Via Gay.com

Following recent news that Russia may reinvigorate Soviet law by jailing gays, a new report found that young recruits in the Russian army are being forced into prostitution.

The Gazeta newspaper discovered that soldiers from an army base in St Petersburg are routinely being ‘pimped’ by senior officials, who then force them to turn over the earnings.
Clients include a former general of FSB, Russia’s intelligence agency.

Anonymous soldiers, told Gazeta that they were violently tortured and beaten by senior officers as a means to force them into prostitution. Last year a 19-year-old recruit was reportedly beaten so badly that his genitals and legs had to be amputated.

Human rights group Union of the Committees of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia, speaking on behalf of soldiers, said that clients arrived at the base late at night to avoid recognition. Soldiers were forced into cars and often would be gone all night.

“The officers would beat us on the arms and legs. We were sent out to the park to earn money,” one solider told the newspaper. ”I was tortured with electric shocks.”

The officers allegedly pasted a client list to successors, suggesting that the practice was long-held tradition. Soldiers were paid about £25 on average for each client, most of which went back to the officers.

Defense Minister, Sergei Ivanov, rumoured to be potential successor to president Vladimir Putin, has pledged an investigation.

Related article on reviving soviet laws on homosexulaity