244. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a statutory instrument that would provide for a pre-action protocol under the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015 will be signed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8486/18]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, under Part 15 of the Legal Services Regulation Act 2015, provision is made for the issue of regulations for the use of pre-action protocols in clinical negligence actions. It also provides that I, as Minister, shall consult with a number of relevant stakeholders prior to the making of such regulations specifying the terms of the proposed pre-action protocol.
As part of that exercise, my Department circulated a Draft Protocol along with the relevant provisions of the 2015 Act to 34 stakeholders under the terms of the 2015 Act in September 2017. A total of 20 responses have been received, one within the past week.
Based on my Department’s detailed consideration of those responses received, including in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General, a revised version of the initial Draft Protocol is being finalised.  On that basis, I would expect the commencement of Part 15 of the 2015 Act and the issue of the relevant regulations for a pre-action protocol being made under it to be completed during the period of April-May this year.