127. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will clarify his reply to Parliamentary Question Nos. 509 and 573 of 16 January 2018 (details supplied), in view of press reports stating that the Legal Services Regulatory Authority has not yet got a permanent premises and will not be taking complaints until the summer of 2019. (Question 20603/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Legal Services Regulatory Authority has been established on a firm statutory basis under the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 its establishment day for that purpose having been 1 October 2016. The Authority, which is independent in the performance of its functions under the 2015 Act, has convened regularly since its inaugural meeting on 26 October 2016 and completed a whole series of statutory public consultations and reports tha...

103. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 105 of 25 April 2018, if the complication with the roll of barristers is beyond that which was anticipated; the details of the delay; and his views on whether a principal objective of this reform in respect of restoring public trust is at risk. (Question 19145/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Roll of Practising Barristers is a new framework being set up and maintained for the first time by the Legal Services Regulatory Authority under Part 9 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. As I have previously conveyed, the Regulatory Authority, which is independent in the performance of its functions, has stated that it is making the necessary detailed preparations and developing the necessary staffing and other resources r...

105. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 557 of 17 April 2018, his views on whether the minutes of the LSRA meeting of 16 November 2017 recorded serious concerns (details supplied); his plans to activate the practitioners levy to facilitate the independence of the authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18115/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy’s question refers to issues raised, of which I am fully aware, in the minutes of the Authority’s meeting on 16 November last concerning the timeline for activation of legal partnerships (i.e. partnerships between barristers, or between barristers and solicitors) under the Legal Services Regulation Act.  In the elements of the minutes referred to by the Deputy, it is recorded that the Authority expressed a view as to the exte...

245. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 153 of 1 February 2018, if a decision has been made as to the timeframe for the establishment of the review committee provided for under section 62 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015; and if so, the timeframe in this regard. (Question 6715/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Responsibility for the establishment of the Review Committee provided for under section 62 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 lies with the Legal Services Regulatory Authority which is independent in the performance of its functions. As such it is one of those key structural reforms that will be rolled-out under Part 6 of the 2015 Act relating to public complaints, professional misconduct and the appointment of the new Legal Pra...

146. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the establishment of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4983/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have set out the current position in relation to the establishment of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority in my Written Reply to Questions 509 and 573 of 16 January 2018 which I will therefore reiterate on this occasion. 
 The setting-up of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority has been under way on a number of fronts since July 2016. At that time Parts 1 and 2 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 were commenced as necess...

147. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will extend the time limit for complaints from three years to five years in view of the delays affecting the establishment of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4984/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I would like to begin my Reply by clarifying that under the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 there will be no time limit for complaints concerning allegations of professional misconduct by a legal practitioner. The three-year time limit to which the Deputy has referred will apply only to those complaints of a more minor nature that are made about inadequate services or excessive fees at what could be described as a consumer level. ...

153. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 495 of 16 January 2018, his plans to establish the review committee under section 62 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5068/18 asked on 01 Feb 2018 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am very pleased to be able to reply to Deputy Daly further to my Written Reply to her previous Question No. 495 of 16 January 2018. 
The Review Committee provided for under section 62 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 to which the Deputy has referred is part of the new complaints process that will apply to those less serious consumer level complaints dealt with under sections 60 and 61 of that Act, respectively. That is to s...

482. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has received report 1 on multidisciplinary practices and report 2 on certain matters relating to barristers from the Legal Services Regulatory Authority; if so, when he expects to bring these before Dáil Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54364/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As previously conveyed in my Written Reply to Question No. 243 on 14 December 2017, I am happy to confirm that the two reports to which Deputy Fitzmaurice has referred have been laid before each House of the Oireachtas as received. They are also publicly accessible on the web-site of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority, www.LSRA.ie.
 ...

495. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the review committee of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority will be established and begin its work in view of the fact that the authority was established over a year ago; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54396/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Subject to any further clarification of the Question by the Deputy that may arise, I am assuming it is referring to the periodic review of the operation of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 that is provided for within that Act under section 6. Under that section the Legal Services Regulatory Authority shall, not later than eighteen months after its establishment day, commence a review of the operation of the 2015 Act. It must repo...

509. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the date on which he expects the Legal Services Regulatory Authority to be fully operational; when it will begin regulating the legal profession; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54580/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 509 and 573 together.
As I have previously conveyed to the House, the setting-up of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority has been under way on a number of fronts since July 2016. At that time Parts 1 and 2 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 were commenced as necessary to get the new Authority appointed and under way. The Authority, which is independent in the performance of its functions under...

573. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the implementation of Part 6 of the Legal Services Regulation Authority Act 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1486/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 509 and 573 together.
As I have previously conveyed to the House, the setting-up of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority has been under way on a number of fronts since July 2016. At that time Parts 1 and 2 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 were commenced as necessary to get the new Authority appointed and under way. The Authority, which is independent in the performance of its functions under...

243. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 224 of 14 November 2017, if the reports that the Legal Service Regulatory Authority forwarded to him, a section 119 report of public consultation on multidisciplinary practices and section 120 report of public consultation on certain matters relating to barristers, have been laid before Dáil Éireann; if not, the reasons for not laying these reports as mentioned in his initial response to that question; the date on which he will lay them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54133/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am happy to confirm by way of reply to Deputy Murphy that the two reports to which she has referred have been laid before each House of the Oireachtas as received and will also, I understand, be made similarly available on the web-site of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority, www.LSRA.ie.
 ...

194. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the revenue-raising functions of section 95 of the Legal Services Regulatory Act 2015 have been implemented; and his views on same. (Question 47650/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Section 95 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 is one of a series of sections in Part 7 of that Act which provide for the raising of a levy to be paid by the Law Society, the Bar Council and other practising barristers. In each given year, the levy will be calculated, under the Act, by reference to the Authority’s actual expenditure of the previous year with due regard also to the actual number and costs of complaints received in...

224. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his attention has been drawn to the fact that on 29 September 2017 the Legal Service Regulatory Authority forwarded to him two reports, section 119 report of public consultation on multi disciplinary practices and section 120 report of public consultation on certain matters relating to barristers; his plans to lay these reports before Dáil Éireann; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48134/17 asked on 14 Nov 2017 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am aware of the two reports which have been submitted to me by the Legal Services Regulatory Authority on 29 September 2017. I am happy to assure the Deputy that the arrangements are being put in place for the laying to the two reports in question before each House of the Oireachtas as provided for under the relevant provisions of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. These represent the latest two of a series of five reports whic...

117. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority; the timeframe for the implementation of the various functions for the authority as set down in legislation; the number of statutory instruments which will be forthcoming; his views on concerns that arise with respect to staffing and the delivery of independent and effective regulation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42042/17 asked on 04 Oct 2017 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will appreciate that the Legal Services Regulatory Authority is an independent statutory body and that I do not, as Minister, have a role in relation to its day to day operations. That independence has been purposefully conferred on the Authority by the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. This includes in the nomination of the Authority’s membership by prescribed bodies, in its statutory objectives and in the independent pe...

134. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the current stage of the drafting of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority report which is due by October 2018; if he has received interim reports, briefings or updates on the results of this review of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41208/17 asked on 28 Sep 2017 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy will appreciate that the Legal Services Regulatory Authority is an independent statutory body and that I do not, as Minister, have a role in relation to its day to day operations.  Under section 34 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 the Legal Services Regulatory Authority is the body which has, by law, been given the specific task of preparing, with the support of a public consultation process, a comprehensive report ...

594. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 432 of 13 July 2017, the reforms of the legal profession he is considering ahead of the publication of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority’s report; if this report will be finalised before October 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36651/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As I have previously set out in some detail in my Written Reply to the Deputy’s earlier Questions No. 293 of 4 July 2017 and No. 432 of 13 July 2017, the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 contains a series of new measures that will review the area of legal professional education including in terms of annual reporting obligations with the undertaking of a more comprehensive review of this area that will be open to all stake-holders inc...

404. Deputy Jim O’Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the implementation of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015; the timeframe for future commencements under the Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34242/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The setting-up of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority, whose establishment day was set by Order for 1 October 2016, has been underway since July 2016. At that time, Parts 1 and 2 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 were commenced to get the new Authority underway, particularly in terms of its nomination and appointment with the necessary motions of approval of the Houses of the Oireachtas. As part of the commencement of Part...

432. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to open up access to the legal services profession and increase diversity of background among solicitors and barristers; if he has considered reforming the practice of devilling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34680/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As I have previously set out in my Written Reply to the Deputy’s earlier Question No. 293 of 4 July 2017, the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 contains a series of new measures that will review the area of legal professional education including in terms of who provides it, who has access to it, and what professional qualifications may apply. These combine annual reporting obligations with the undertaking of a more comprehensive revi...

293. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on the monopoly that a college (details supplied) has on the training and accreditation of barristers; and his plans to open this up to competition. (Question 31338/17 asked on 04 Jul 2017 - Legal Services Regulation)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 contains a series of new measures that will review the area of legal professional education including in terms of who provides it, who has access to it, and what professional qualifications may apply. These combine annual reporting obligations with the undertaking of a more comprehensive review of this area that will be open to all stake-holders including, on the delivery side, universities and o...

135. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the work of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority. (Question 21764/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - Legal Services Regulation)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 135 and 136 together.
The setting-up of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority, whose establishment day I had set by Order for 1 October 2016, has been underway since July 2016. At that time, I commenced Parts 1 and 2 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 as necessary to get the new Authority underway, particularly in terms of its nomination and appointment with the necessary motio...

136. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the implementation of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 and outstanding provisions yet to be implemented. (Question 21765/17 asked on 09 May 2017 - Legal Services Regulation)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 135 and 136 together.
The setting-up of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority, whose establishment day I had set by Order for 1 October 2016, has been underway since July 2016. At that time, I commenced Parts 1 and 2 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 as necessary to get the new Authority underway, particularly in terms of its nomination and appointment with the necessary motio...

34. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the way in which the independence of the legal services regulator is assured; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10981/17 asked on 02 Mar 2017 - Legal Services Regulation)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 34 and 35 together.
Under section 13(3) of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 it is provided that, subject to the Act, the Legal Services Regulatory Authority “shall be independent in the performance of its functions”. This principle permeates the entire 2015 Act and its respective provisions including in terms of the independence of the nomination of the Legal Services Regulatory Au...

35. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if the new legal services regulator has a remit to examine cases retrospectively; if any statute of limitations applies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10982/17 asked on 02 Mar 2017 - Legal Services Regulation)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 34 and 35 together.
Under section 13(3) of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 it is provided that, subject to the Act, the Legal Services Regulatory Authority “shall be independent in the performance of its functions”. This principle permeates the entire 2015 Act and its respective provisions including in terms of the independence of the nomination of the Legal Services Regulatory Au...

85. Deputy Jim O’Callaghan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 81 of 15 February 2017, the date on which she expects that the legal services regulatory authority will be fully operational; and when it will be regulating the legal profession. (Question 8945/17 asked on 22 Feb 2017 - Legal Services Regulation)

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): By way of supplementing the important information set out in my earlier Written Reply to Question No.81 of 15 February 2016, I would like to reiterate that the current working focus remains very much on the phased commencement of the respective sections or Parts of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015. I would also like to assure the Deputy that the Chairperson and members of the Legal Services Regulatory Authority, it...