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Partner Brid Munnelly speaks at conference on the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015
AUTHOR(S): Bríd Munnelly
Pictured L-R: Mr Justice Daniel O’Keeffe, Chairman, Standards in Public Office Commission, Mr Garrett Fennell, Director, Public Affairs Ireland, Professor Gary Murphy, Head of the School of Law and Government, DCU, Ms. Sherry Perreault, Head of Lobbying, Regulation Ireland and Ms Bríd Munnelly, Head of Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Matheson.
Matheson sponsored the recent Public Affairs Ireland (PAI) conference on the new legislation regulating political lobbying in Ireland. The Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015, which comes into effect on 1 September 2015, introduces new legal obligations for individuals and organisations seeking to lobby Government and public officials at both a central and local level. The Act seeks to introduce new levels of transparency into the political system and public administration by providing information to the public on who is lobbying who, about what and when.
Bríd Munnelly, Head of Matheson’s Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution department, spoke on how the new Act will operate from a legal perspective. According to Bríd, the new legislation sits on a continuum of public transparency matters. She noted that, under the Act, the onus is on the lobbyist and not the lobbied and that a broad range of people fall within the remit of the lobbying register, not simply those who would be regarded as “professional” lobbyists. Mr Brendan Howlin TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Ms Sherry Perreault, Head of Lobbying Regulation in Ireland, and Mr. Justice Daniel O’Keeffe, Chairman, Standards in Public Office Commission spoke about different aspects of the Act, and a panel of industry representatives shared their viewpoints.
Also attending the event on behalf of Matheson was Liz Grace, Asset Management and Investment Funds partner. Liz said, “The introduction of the new Irish legislation on lobbying is significant, and this conference organised by Public Affairs Ireland and sponsored by Matheson provides an important forum for key stakeholders to discuss and debate the practical application of the new law. This discussion is set to continue as we approach the go live date of 1 September 2015”.