the Irish for rights

A footnote to Election 2007

picture-1.pngNow that An Taoiseach (the Prime Minister) has put us out of our misery and finally called the long-awaited general election, all Bills currently pending will fall with the outgoing Dáil (Lower House). Of those of particular interest to this blog, this means that the Defamation Bill, 2006 (Department of Justice | Oireachtas (pdf)) and the Privacy Bill, 2006 (Department of Justice | Oireachtas (pdf)) now both fall too, and their fate will have to await the pleasure of the incoming government in the next Dáil.

The fate of the Defamation Bill, in particular, raises an interesting question for the press industry. The Bill provided for the recognition of a Press Council; the press industry has advanced with the establishment of an Office of the Press Ombudsman and the Press Council of Ireland in parallel with the passage of the Bill through the Houses of the Oireachtas (Parliament); and they will now have to decide whether to continue with this process now that the Bill has fallen. They could of course keep their powder dry until after the election, in the hope that the incoming government revives the Bill, and then press on with the formation of the Ombudsman and Council. But it would be a better indication of their bona fides in this matter if they carried on regardless, and established the Press Council before the next Dáil sits. Indeed, having done so, it would then give them the credibility to call for the Defamation Bill to be revived by the incoming government!

10 Responses to “A footnote to Election 2007”

  1. […] at cearta, I have posted the following footnote to Election 2007: Now that An Taoiseach (the Prime Minister) has put us out of our misery and finally called the […]

  2. There was that Bill too that was going to give ComReg extra powers. Will tendering still go ahead too? A broadband tender was meant to be announced this week or next week.

  3. Eoin says:

    I suspect that this would be a matter for ComReg. The Bill is the Communications Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2007, blogged here on this site; and, unfortunately, that too has fallen.

  4. Tender is from DCMNR. Though might be a joint thing. Not sure can they send it out without the Minister?

  5. Daithí says:

    No no no, the Comreg bill passed all stages and is about to get its SI to implement (disgraceful, in fact – they didn’t even discuss half the amendments, including stuff I had looked for). By the way, I have finally received my pile of FoI info on the lobbying for/against the Bill – but haven’t got a chance to go through it in detail.

    Incidentally on tender etc the Minister still holds all powers until he’s replaced – so there’s no problem there.

  6. Eoin says:

    Ok, thanks to you both for all of that. The Oireachtas website, which is rich in content but badly structured and practically unsearchable, misled me. Apologies. But, of course, this kind of conversation is what comments are for. Now, to go peel the egg from my face …

  7. Ah nice one Daithí. Very nice one on the FOI too.

  8. Eoin says:

    Damien now has an excellent post on the DCMNR national broadband tender. Thanks, Damien.

  9. […] that (as I have already noted here) the Defamation Bill, 2006 has fallen with the outgoing Dáil, let’s start with […]

  10. […] the existence of Drudge, Guido and Slugger demonstrate. The restrictive nature of the libel laws (still unreformed becuase the election was called) must be another – certainly, the First Amendment to the US Constitution has provided a blanket of […]

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Me in a hatHi there! Thanks for dropping by. I’m Eoin O’Dell, and this is my blog: Cearta.ie – the Irish for rights.

“Cearta” really is the Irish word for rights, so the title provides a good sense of the scope of this blog.

In general, I write here about private law, free speech, and cyber law; and, in particular, I write about Irish law and education policy.

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