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Question

416. Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the Legal Services Regulation Bill; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34026/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As I have previously conveyed in my Written Reply to Question No. 360 of 29 September, the Legal Services Regulation Bill is now before the Seanad, having completed Seanad Second Stage on 13 May 2015. The Bill completed its earlier Dáil Stages on 22 April 2015. Preparations are, therefore, ongoing for Seanad Committee Stage which I would anticipate taking place in the coming weeks and I will be circulating any proposed Government amendments in advance for consideration . It is the Government's continued intention that the Bill be completed by the end of this year so that the new Legal Services Regulatory Authority can come into operation at the start of 2016. Work on the Bill continues on that basis including in conjunction with the Offices of the Attorney General and of Parliamentary Counsel alongside the planning that is necessary for the accommodation, staffing and functioning of the new Regulatory Authority.