The Defamation Act will probably not become operable until mid to late October, because the rules of court need to be amended to accommodate it. The Law Reform Division of the Department of Justice has confirmed that:
“The Act is subject to a commencement order. It is intended to commence all provisions of the Act simultaneously. However, it is not possible to make a commencement order at present as the Circuit and Superior Court Rules need to be amended to accommodate a number of procedural changes in the new legislation. It is not possble to give an exact date yet for commencement of the Act but it is expected to be mid to late October.”
The Minister has the option of commencing different parts of the Act at different times. Atheist Ireland will continue to ask him to delay commencing the blasphemy sections, until such time as a referendum can be held to remove the reference to blasphemy from the Constitution.