The Government has published its Legislation Programme for Autumn/Winter 2015.

We have set out below a list of some of the key Bills of interest which are coming down the tracks, and the status of other important Bills which are currently before the Houses of the Oireachtas.

(1) Key Bills expected to be published in the coming months include:-

  • Criminal Justice (Corruption) Bill – This Bill will consolidate and reform all the legislation currently cited as the Prevention of Corruption Acts 1889-2010 in a single statut
  • Companies (Accounting) Bill – This Bill will transpose the EU Accounting Directive 2013/34/EU.  
  • Energy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill – This Bill will provide administrative sanctioning powers to the CER, including powers to impose fines, to provide for the renaming of the CER, and provide for a number of other minor energy legislation amendments.
  • Finance Bill – This Bill will give effect to Budget and related taxation measures.
  • Financial Services Miscellaneous Bill – This Bill will ratify the Inter-Government Agreement, put in place an alternative insurance regulatory regime and provide for transition of a Deposit Guarantee Scheme funding arrangement.
  • Public Health (Alcohol) Bill – This Bill will provide for minimum unit pricing for retailing of alcohol products, to regulate the marketing and advertising of alcohol, to regulate sports sponsorship, and provide for health labelling of alcohol products.
  • Criminal Justice (Offences relating to Information Systems) Bill – This Bill will enable ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime and transpose EU Directive 2013/40 on attacks against Information Systems.
  • Public Sector Standards Bill – This Bill will reform the existing legislative framework in relation to ethics regulation for those in public office.
  • Social Welfare and Pensions Bill – This Bill will amend the Pensions Act 1990 to enable the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman to undertake the role.

(2) Key Bills in respect of which heads have been agreed and texts are being drafted include: 

  • Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman Bill – This Bill will amalgamate the Office of the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman.  Publication is expected in 2016.
  • Civil Liability (Amendment) Bill – This Bill will provide for damages to be awarded in the form of periodic payments to persons suffering from catastrophic injuries.  Publication is expected in 2016.
  • Amendment of the Constitution (Unified Patent Court) Bill – This Bill will amend Article 29 of the Constitution to recognise the International Agreement on a Unified Patent Court.  Not possible to indicate when publication is expected.
  • Mediation Bill – This Bill will provide for implementation for the recommendations of the Law Reform Commission.  Publication is expected in 2016.
  • Family Leave Bill – This Bill will consolidate with amendments all family leave legislation.  Publication is expected in 2016.
  • Gambling Control Bill – This Bill will update and consolidate the law on betting and gambling.  Publication is expected in 2016.
  • Sale of Alcohol Bill – This Bill will codify the law relating to the sale and consumption of alcohol.  Not possible to indicate when publication is expected.
  • Landlord and Tenant Law Reform Bill – This Bill will reform and consolidate the general law on landlords and tenants.  Publication is expected in 2016.
  • Data-Sharing and Governance Bill – This Bill will implement measures to improve data-sharing and governance.  Publication is expected in 2016.

(3) Key Bills in respect of which heads have yet to be approved by Government include:

  • Consumer Rights Bill – This Bill will update and consolidate consumer rights legislation.  Publication is expected in 2016.
  • Building Control Bill – This Bill will place Construction Industry Register Ireland (CIRI) on a statutory footing, and thereby provide in law for the registration of builders, contractors, and specialist sub-contractors. Publication is expected in 2016.
  • Central Bank Consolidation Bill – This Bill will consolidate the body of legislation relating to the Central Bank into one statute.  Not possible to indicate when publication is expected. 
  • Data Sharing Bill – This Bill will allow specified public bodies to share specified data relating to businesses.  Not possible to indicate when publication is expected.
  • Public Health (Retail Licensing of Tobacco Products) Bill – This Bill will introduce a licensing system and other measures in relation to the sale of tobacco products and non-medicinal nicotine delivery systems including e-cigarettes.  Not possible to indicate when publication is expected.
  • Statutory Audits Bill – This Bill will transpose the EU Audit Directive 2014/56/EU and give effect to the Member State options in the EU Audit Regulation (537/2014).  Publication is expected in 2016.
  • Personal Injuries Assessment Board (Amendment) Bill – This Bill will introduce a number of amendments to improve the operation and implementation of the Act.  Not possible to indicate when publication is expected.
  • Disability / Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill – This Bill allows ratification of the UN Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities and makes further technical amendments to disability and equality legislation.  Publication is expected in 2016.
  • Irish Aviation Authority (Amendment) Bill – This Bill will restructure the functions of the Aviation Authority and the Commission for Aviation Regulation into two institutionally separate bodies.  A single regulatory authority for aviation with responsibility for both safety and economic regulation of the sector and a separate commercial State company engaged solely in the provision of air navigation services.

(4) Bills of interest currently before the Dáil and Seanad include:

  • Finance (Tax Appeals) Bill 2015
  • Credit Guarantee (Amendment) Bill 2015
  • Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013
  • Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) (Amendment) Bill 2014
  • Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012
  • Assisted Decision-Making Capacity) Bill 2013
  • Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2015
  • Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011
  • Choice of Court (HagueConvention) Bill 2015

We will be monitoring the progress of these Bills and will keep you updated.