CervicalCheck Tribunal Act 2019
|Publication Date:||January 01, 2019|
CervicalCheck Tribunal Act 2019
An Act to provide for the implementation of the Report on an Alternative System for Dealing with Claims Arising from CervicalCheck, in respect of the hearing and determination, outside of the court process, of claims arising from acts or omissions arising from CervicalCheck and, for those purposes, to make provision for the establishment of a body, to be known in the Irish language, as An Binse um CervicalCheck or, in the English language, as the CervicalCheck Tribunal; to make provision for the Tribunal, with the consent of the parties concerned, to hear and determine a certain limited number of claims made to it outside of the court process; to provide that a determination of the Tribunal shall be subject to confirmation by the High Court and subject to a right of appeal to the High Court; to make provision, in the public interest of restoring trust in CervicalCheck, for the making available to certain persons of facilities for the purposes of documenting experiences, facilitating discussion and providing information to such persons in respect of CervicalCheck; and to provide for related matters.
[23 July 2019]
Be it enacted by the Oireachtas as follows:
Preliminary and General
1 Short title and commencement
(1) This Act may be cited as the CervicalCheck Tribunal Act 2019.
(2) This Act shall come into operation on such day or days as the Minister may by order or orders appoint either generally or with reference to any particular purpose or provision and different days may be so appointed for different purposes or different provisions.
2. In this Act—
“Act of 1961” means the Civil Liability Act 1961;
“appropriate person” means—
(a) a relevant woman, or
(b) where a relevant woman has died, a dependant of the relevant woman concerned;
“CervicalCheck” means the national cervical screening programme initiated in 2008 by the National Cancer Screening Service Board and, since the dissolution of the Board on 1 April 2010, provided by the Executive;
“CervicalCheck cytology” means the cytology laboratory services retained by the Executive for the purposes of CervicalCheck;
“CervicalCheck non-disclosureex-gratia scheme” means the scheme administered under that title by the Minister in furtherance of a decision of the Government of 11 March 2019;
“Chairperson” has the meaning assigned to it bysection 6;
“claim” means a claim made in accordance withsection 11;
“claimant” means a person who makes a claim in accordance withsection 11;
“dependant” has the meaning assigned to it by Part IV of the Act of 1961;
“establishment day” shall be construed in accordance withsection 4;
“Executive” means the Health Service Executive;
“Facilitator” has the meaning assigned to it bysection 31;
“Minister” means the Minister for Health;
“notice of acceptance” has the meaning assigned to it bysection 17;
“prescribed” means prescribed by Rules;
“relevant parties” means, in relation to a claim—
(a) the claimant,
(b) the Executive, and
(c) the cytology laboratory services retained by the Executive for the purposes of CervicalCheck;
“relevant woman” means—
(a) a woman—
(i) identified as part of the Review of Cervical Screening as having CervicalCheck cytology review findings that were discordant with those of the original cytology examination in relation to the woman concerned, or
(ii) whose cytology slides were sought, by the Review of Cervical Screening, to be re-examined as part of its review but where one or more of those slides could not be re-examined as part of that review by reason of circumstances beyond the control of the woman concerned,
(b) a woman who received a diagnosis of cervical cancer—
(i) who had a screening history through CervicalCheck,
(ii) whose diagnosis of cervical cancer was notified to CervicalCheck,
(iii) whose cytology slides were re-examined as part of the retrospective CervicalCheck cytology clinical audit, and
(iv) whose cytology review findings, following the re-examination in accordance withsubparagraph (iii), were discordant with those of the original cytology examination in relation to the woman concerned;
“restoration of trust meeting” has the meaning assigned to it bysection 32;
“retrospective CervicalCheck cytology clinical audit” means the lookback clinical audit of cytology slides in relation to 1,482 women carried out by CervicalCheck between 2008 and prior to 5 May 2018;
“Review of Cervical Screening” means the review commissioned by the Minister and conducted by a Clinical Expert Review Panel under the auspices of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of the results of screening tests of all women who have developed cervical cancer since 2008 who participated in CervicalCheck;
“Rules” means rules made undersection 26;
“Tribunal” has the meaning assigned to it bysection 5;
“waiver” means, in relation to claimant, a waiver by the claimant of any right of action which the claimant may otherwise have had or maintained against any other relevant party or parties to the claim concerned in respect of the circumstances of the claim before the Tribunal.
3. The expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, be paid out of monies provided by the Oireachtas.
Establishment, Functions, etc.
4 Establishment day
4. The Minister shall, by order, appoint a day to be the establishment day for the purposes of this Act.
5 Establishment of Tribunal
(1) There shall stand established on the establishment day a body, which shall be known, in the Irish language, as An Binse um CervicalCheck or, in the English language, as the CervicalCheck Tribunal (in this Act referred to as the “Tribunal”), to perform the functions conferred on it by this Act.
(2) The Tribunal may sit in divisions of itself.
(3) The Tribunal shall, subject to this Act—
be independent in the performance of its functions, and
regulate its own procedures.
6 Membership of Tribunal
(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Tribunal shall consist of a chairperson (in this Act referred to as the “Chairperson”) and not less than 2 ordinary members, each of whom shall be appointed by the Minister.
(2) The Minister may, if he or she considers it necessary, appoint additional persons to be ordinary members of the Tribunal.
(3) The Chairperson shall hold or have held judicial office in the Superior Courts.
(4) Each ordinary member of the Tribunal shall—
hold or have held judicial office in the Superior Courts, or
be a practising barrister or solicitor of not less than 10 years practice.
(5) Each member of the Tribunal, other than a member who is the holder of a judicial office in the Superior Courts, shall be paid such remuneration (if any) as may be determined by the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.
(6) Each member of the Tribunal shall be subject to such terms and conditions and be paid such allowances for expenses as the Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, determine.
(7) If the Chairperson is for any reason unable to continue to act as Chairperson, the Minister may designate another member of the Tribunal as Chairperson.
(8) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), if a member of the Tribunal is for any reason unable to continue to act as an ordinary member of the Tribunal, the Minister may appoint a person to be an ordinary member of the Tribunal in that member’s place.
(9) In this section, “judicial office in the Superior Courts” means the office of judge of the High Court, the office of judge of the Court of Appeal or the office of judge of the Supreme Court.
7 Functions of Tribunal
(1) The Tribunal shall, in addition to the other functions conferred on it by this Act—
hear and determine claims,
subject tosection 31 (4), facilitate restoration of trust meetings, and
report, and make such recommendations as it deems appropriate, on any matter relating to the work of the Tribunal.
(2) Notwithstanding the generality of subsection (1), the Tribunal may provide such recommendations as it considers appropriate on any matter relating to the work of the Tribunal to the Minister, whether or not it has received a request in that behalf from the Minister.
(3) The Tribunal shall have all such powers as are necessary or expedient for the performance of its functions.
(4) The Chairperson may delegate any of the Tribunal’s functions (other than a function specified in subsection (1) (a)) to any member of the staff of the Tribunal duly authorised in that behalf by the Chairperson and that member of staff shall be accountable to the Chairperson for the functions so delegated.
(5) The Chairperson may revoke a delegation made in accordance with subsection (4).
8 Staff of Tribunal
(1) The Tribunal may, with the consent of the Minister, given with the approval of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, appoint such and so many persons to be members of staff of the Tribunal as it may determine.
(2) The terms and conditions of service of a member of staff of the Tribunal and the grade at which he or she serves shall be such as may be determined by the Tribunal with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.
(3) The members of staff of the Tribunal shall perform their functions under the direction and control of the Chairperson.
9 Experts and research
(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Tribunal may, if it considers that it requires the advice or assistance of experts (including legal experts) in respect of any matter—
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