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Should we abolish TDs' immunity from arrest (if coming to/from Dail)?


Should we abolish the immunity enjoyed by TDs from arrest if coming to/from Dail?

  • Yes, abolish it

    Votes: 180 67.2%
  • No, it should remain as is

    Votes: 37 13.8%
  • Change it so it's only valid if they're going to the dail to vote.

    Votes: 51 19.0%

  • Total voters
    268
  • Poll closed .

Congalltee

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Article 15.13
"The members of each House of the Oireachtas shall, except in case of treason as defined in this Constitution, felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest in going to and returning from, and while within the precincts of, either House, and shall not, in respect of any utterance in either House, be amenable to any court or any authority other than the House itself."

This was a measure which was highly relevant in the context of the 1930's (dictatorships replacing democracies, Ireland's scrape with fascism led by the former Garda commissioner/leader of the Blueshirts). It is a bit like the clause about judge's pay being upward only - of it's time.

Should it be repealed in an era of the Garda ombudsman, press oversight, civil courts providing damages for false imprisonment?

Should it only apply to TDs going to the Dail for votes? (Senators not being as critical and TDs leaving the house are at less risk of unlawful interference by the Gardai - if such a risk actually exists).

How has the abolition of felonies and misdeamours affected the section?

For those who check their law books, the immunity is only from arrest and a summons could be sent after the incident eg if on a mobile, or not waiting to be waved on. Nor does it apply exclusively to driving?

Or, should political accountability be employed for those who abuse it? (Eg non-arrestable offence, not waiting to be waved on, abusing the gardai, covering up an offence)?

Varadkar in bid to crack down on Dail privilege - Independent.ie

The politicians who have landed in hot water - Independent.ie

Parliamentary Privilege · TheJournal.ie

Abuse of power and the gardaí is nothing new to boozy politicians | Irish Examiner
 

Astral Peaks

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Have you asked for a poll on the thread? I would....
 

Sync

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There will be a poll. I shall be voting yes multiple times.
 

Astral Peaks

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P.S. Good OP by the way, plenty of food for thought there.
 

Clanrickard

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33,038
No.
 

RahenyFG

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Jun 17, 2010
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I voted Yes
 

james toney

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Dec 9, 2009
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15,978
Time to abolish it,it's an archaic law,is open to abuse and is there to be taken advantage of.
And there is nobody better to take advantage of it,and get a free pass,than an irish politician.
 

Astral Peaks

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Why aren't the voters names visible?
 

FrankSpeaks

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I would not be in favour of abolishing this rule, I could forsee (admittedly highly unlikely) situations where TD's were arrested to prevent legislation being enacted. I voted to change so that it's only valid for Dáil votes.
 

Sync

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Why aren't the voters names visible?
We hardly ever do that. When we do it's because we've stuffed up designing the poll. It's usually SpiderMom's fault.
 

Congalltee

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Thanks for setting up the poll so quickly.

The cost of abolition:
- an additional question on referendum day with risk of confusion
- a separate ballot paper will cost about half a mill
- a referendum commission on the topic would add to the tot constant of the poll even if it is shared with another question or two (it costs about €17m to hold a referendum with increased costs of up to €4m depending on the competition of the issue)
 

FrankSpeaks

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We hardly ever do that. When we do it's because we've stuffed up designing the poll. It's usually SpiderMom's fault.
Women and technology!
 

damus

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Jun 28, 2011
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23,671
I would not be in favour of abolishing this rule, I could forsee (admittedly highly unlikely) situations where TD's were arrested to prevent legislation being enacted.
And if that happened then they'd have cause to sue the state for a wrongful arrest similar to Wallace. Doesn't Article 15.13 remove immunity from arrest if they're suspected of having committed treason, breach of the peace or a felony?
 

tigerben

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Sep 21, 2010
Messages
4,621
Politicans have shown they can and will bend the any law to suit themselves or one or two people. The Dail is a work place , were they already get turning up money just by signing in. They already have a subsidies bar which majority of workers don't have in the work place so they've already better looked after than most. So if they are breaking the law going or coming from work , they should have the same laws applied as others.
 

mr. jings

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Mar 31, 2008
Messages
8,095
Maybe keep the on the spot immunity as is, but make it so the incidents have to be recorded as usual and published and reviewed somewhere, and make the immunity contingent on good faith/sound grounds, with the possibility of the case being pursued in full if a TD is acting the mickey. I guess it'd still be possible for some heads to try and nudge, wink, spoof or bully their way out of it though...
 

Astral Peaks

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We hardly ever do that. When we do it's because we've stuffed up designing the poll. It's usually SpiderMom's fault.
Pity, I thought it was good. Very instructive, in some cases. Where a poster's vote didn't tally with their opinions expressed on the thread.
 

Sister Mercedes

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Dec 19, 2011
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20,663
We hardly ever do that.
Why not? This is a site where we express our political views. I think we can stand over our votes in online polls.

Seeing the voters names makes it clearer if 'particular' groups of voters are skewing the results.
 

Mattarigna

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Oct 20, 2012
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5,135
I would not be in favour of abolishing this rule, I could forsee (admittedly highly unlikely) situations where TD's were arrested to prevent legislation being enacted. I voted to change so that it's only valid for Dáil votes.
Seeing that the Minister for Justice - as far as I know - can't order the arrest of anyone, I do not see how this could come about. How do you think it would happen?
 

FrankSpeaks

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Messages
4,625
WTF are you on about; he did not evade a checkpoint you dunkey!
 
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