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Drafts of new corruption law to be published 'before Easter'

Alan Shatter tells the Dáil that a new draft Prevention of Corruption Bill is being prepared, with its heads to be published soon.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE GOVERNMENT is preparing a major new Bill to update and strengthen Ireland’s laws against corruption, the justice minister has said.

Alan Shatter told the Dáil that the heads of a new Prevention of Corruption Bill were being developed, with the intention of bringing them to the cabinet for approval “before Easter”.

The new Bill hopes to consolidate and replace existing corruption laws, some of which overlap on each other, with one consolidating the existing laws into one broader Act.

Shatter said the legislation would also take the opportunity to review the current law “and improve it in the light of experience”.

The minister declined to comment on some of the changes it may involve, as the draft legislation hadn’t yet been completed and the other ministers had not been presented with the plans.

“It should be obvious that there’s very substantial work going in on my department,” Shatter said.

“We need to ensure we have a coherent, accessible body of law dealing with corruption issues… [and a] broad range of white collar crime areas”.

The minister said he hoped the new law would also make it easier for Gardaí and the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute.

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Aside from the various existing laws, Ireland last year signed up to  already signed up to the OECD convention on preventing bribery, and last year ratified the UN Convention on Corruption.

The pan-continental Council of Europe, which has 47 member states, was also pursuing common policies against corruption.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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