The Government has published its Autumn Legislation Programme 2013.

We have set out below some of the most significant legislation due to be published in the coming months, and the status of other important Bills which are currently before the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Bills expected to be published during the Autumn Session, include:

  • Environmental (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill – This Bill will give effect to a waste policy commitment in the Programme for Government, reinstate fixed payment notices for certain offences under the Solid Fuel Regulations and extend these notices to a range of other existing offences, amend the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acts in anticipation of the merger of the EPA with the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII), extend the EPA licensing fees and introduce fees for the Producer Responsibility Initiative (PRI) compliance schemes and amend provisions for access to justice on environmental matters.
  • Maritime Area and Foreshore (Amendment) Bill – This Bill will streamline the development consent process for the foreshore including, inter alia, the integration of certain parts of the foreshore consent process (under the Foreshore Act 1933) with the existing on-land planning system.
  • Pyrite Levy Bill – This Bill will provide for the imposition of levies on the quarrying and insurance sectors to fund a remediation scheme for certain pyrite damaged dwellings and to establish the Pyrite Resolution Board on a statutory footing.
  • Water Services Bill – This Bill will provide Irish Water with the necessary powers to deliver water services including through service level agreements with local authorities, define the relationship between Irish Water, local authorities and the economic and environmental regulators, set out the legal basis for domestic water charges, and extend the water regulatory powers of CER.
  • National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) (No. 1) Bill – This Bill will establish the Investment Platform of the NTMA on a statutory basis (including New ERA and reorienting the National Pensions Reserve Fund into the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund), and amend the governance structures of the NTMA.
  • National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill – This Bill will enable management by the State Claims Agency of claims for third-party legal costs arising from Tribunals and Commissions of Inquiry and for legal costs awarded against the State by the Courts.
  • Consumer and Competition Bill – This Bill will amalgamate the National Consumer Agency and the Competition Authority; provide for a statutory code of conduct for the grocery goods sector, and give effect to the recommendations of the Advisory Group on Media Mergers.
  • Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill – This Bill will amend the Patents Act 1992 to expand the research exemption provision and amend the Trade Marks Act 1996 to allow Ireland to accede to the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks.
  • Employment Permits Bill – This Bill will consolidate existing legislation to take account of evolving jurisprudence and to cater for future accessions to the EU.  It is likely that the Bill will specifically address the consequences of the recent High Court decision of Hussein v Labour Court.  See our Client Bulletin of 18 September 2012 for more information.
  • Industrial Development (Forfas) Bill – This Bill will dissolve Forfas and provide for the transfer of the agency's assets, liabilities and staff to the Department and other public bodies as appropriate.
  • Workplace Relations Bill – This Bill will reform the existing statutory workplace redress system. See our Client Bulletin of 14 March 2012 for more information.
  • Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Bill – This Bill will amend and restate the law relating to the registration of vessels.

Bills of interest currently before the Dáil include:

  • Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013 - Order for Second Stage
  • Betting (Amendment) Bill 2013 - Order for Second Stage
  • Fines (Payment and Recovery) Bill 2013 - Order for Second Stage
  • Freedom of Information Bill 2013 - Order for Second Stage
  • Mental Health (Amendment) Bill 2008 [Seanad] - Second Stage  
  • Legal Services Regulation Bill 2011 - Awaiting Committee 
  • Companies Bill 2012 - Awaiting Committee Stage
  • Tribunals of Inquiry Bill 2005 - Order for Report Stage
  • Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 [Seanad] - Order for Report Stage

Bills of interest currently before the Seanad include:

  • Privacy Bill 2006 [Seanad] - Order for Second Stage
  • Protected Disclosures Bill 2013 [Seanad] (i.e. Whistleblowers' Bill)- Order for Second Stage 
  • Friendly Societies and Industrial and Provident Societies (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013 [Seanad] - Order for Second Stage