Denis Naughten TD has requested that Government insert an end date (sunset clause) into the emergency legislation on the COVID-19 which is to be debated in Dáil Eireann tomorrow (Thursday).
“While I welcome the measures included in this emergency legislation to support the national response to the COVID-19 crisis, it is important that these powers are not used beyond this current situation,” stated Denis Naughten.
“The Bill provides for far-reaching powers in relation to gatherings/events and travel which is understandable to deal with the current exceptional threat to human life and public health from the spread of COVID-19. It also includes the power to detain a person against their will if it is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“These are very powerful legal provisions which must only be used to specifically deal with the current national health crisis, and we must be able to have the law repealed after this threat has abated.
“There are other instances where a sunset clause has been included in legislation such as the Offences Against the State Act that has to be renewed on an annual basis by Dáil Eireann,” concluded Denis Naughten.
While there is continue in operation until the Health (Preservation and Protection and
other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Bill 2020 that the provisions are only in operation until 9th day of May 2020, there is a clause where this can be continually renewed indefinitely by Statutory Instrument