Friday 17 November 2017

Dail privilege is vital, but it is not the only right we must value


Hugh O'Flaherty

The privileges of Dáil deputies and Senators are as clear as a pikestaff. Article 15 of the Constitution provides that the members shall not, in respect of any utterance in either House, be amenable to any court or any authority other than the House itself and, further, that utterances made in either House, wherever published, shall be privileged.

So far, so good. But other provisions of the Constitution must also come into play.

Article 40, section 3 provides: The State guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable to defend and vindicate the personal rights of the citizen.

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