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Home > Joint Committee on Health and Children debate. Regulation of psychoactive substances: Discussion with Department of Health and Children and HSE.

[Oireachtas] Joint Committee on Health and Children debate. Regulation of psychoactive substances: Discussion with Department of Health and Children and HSE. (01 Jun 2010)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/joint_...


Chairman: We are meeting with officials from the Department of Health and Children on recently signed regulations under the Misuse of Drugs Act banning certain substances and with officials from the HSE on the national drugs awareness campaign under the national drugs strategy on the dangers of psychoactive substances. All the officials are welcome. We will hear from the officials first after which I will go to the committee for a series of questions. I congratulate the officials on the work they have done. Certainly the statutory instruments have had almost immediate effect as we have seen across the country. All sides of the House congratulate them on the initiatives taken and, more importantly, on the efficacy of those initiatives. Our concern is to ensure that what they have done is not circumvented and that the public continues to be vigilant and aware of the dangers these substances present, particularly to vulnerable people. I invite Ms Marita Kinsella to begin.

There is a slight change in procedure. I remind members of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against a person outside the House or an official either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable.

By virtue of section 17(2)(l) of the Defamation Act 2009, witnesses are protected by absolute privilege in respect of their evidence to the committee. If witnesses are directed by the committee to cease giving evidence on a particular matter and they continue to so do, they are entitled thereafter only to a qualified privilege in respect of their evidence. Witnesses are directed that only evidence connected with the subject matter of these proceedings is to be given and they are asked to respect the parliamentary practice to the effect that, where possible, they should not criticise nor make charges against any person or entity by name or in such a way as to make him, her or it identifiable.

[For the full debate click on this link to the Oireachtas website]

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