Our Public Law Group advises the Government of Ireland, Departments, agencies, regulatory authorities and public bodies on their day to day legal administrative functions as well as advising on matters of interpretation of public general law, including the Constitution of Ireland and the transposition of European Communities Law in the area.
We advise clients in the related areas of Freedom of Information, AIE Regulations, Public Procurement and other regulated sectors such as energy, planning and environmental law. In addition to providing specialist expertise in each of the relevant regulatory public law sectors we advise on administrative law processes including judicial review of public law matters.
The Group is a cross disciplinary group comprising lawyers who regularly advise the State on a broad variety of statutory functions and processes. We have been engaged to draft enabling legislation for practically every major Government agency established in Ireland over the past decade.
In the area of the Freedom of Information Act and the increasingly associated area of the AIE Regulations, we advise both public bodies and private sector clients in respect of the rights and obligation regarding those seeking access to records or information. In the area of Public Procurement we advise public bodies, utilities and bidders in relation to their rights and obligations under public procurement law. We protect the positions of awarding authorities in tender processes conducted by them, as well as promoting the rights of bidders during the conduct of tenders.
We offer specialist expertise in assisting in drafting complex legislation to govern public bodies and agencies tasked with some of the most significant policy matters being progressed in Ireland. Once established we often continue to advise these bodies and agencies on the implementation of their public policy goals.
- Detailed advice on the Freedom of Information Act
- Detailed submissions for clients addressing requests for disclosure of records or statements of reasons for acts affecting certain persons (including on the grounds of confidentiality and commercial sensitivity) or on consultation with a third party under Section 29 of the Act
- Appeals to the Information Commissioner (from whom there is limited recourse to the High Court)
- Detailed advice and draft text and submissions pursuant to the information entitlements for underbidders and others pursuant to the EC Directives on Public Procurement and the European Communities Act, 1972 (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations, 1998 (and its predecessors) and advising on these overlapping jurisdictions
- Advising on the foregoing matters and “personal information” (Section 28 of the 1997 Act) in the context of national and EC Data Protection Law
- Detailed advice on the Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995 and the Standards in Public Office Act, 2001
- Filings for purposes of the Ethics in Public Office Acts and the Standards in Public Office Act, 2001
- Operation of Government Guidelines for State Bodies (1992) and Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies (2001)