The Cabinet today considered a piece of legislation that would prevent a spouse found guilty of unlawfully killing their partner from inheriting a jointly-owned property.

The legislation was initially brought before the Dáil by Fianna Fáil's justice spokesperson Jim O'Callaghan.

The bill follows the recommendations of the Law Reform Commission which was asked to examine the issue in the aftermath of the Cawley v Lillis case

The Government supports the Bill, but is considering extending it to cases where a spouse aids or abets in the murder or manslaughter of their partner.

It is understood Attorney General Séamus Woulfe and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan wish this change to be included in the legislation.

They would like the rule to apply with the courts being given a margin of flexibility when ruling on this issue.

Mr O'Callaghan said the legislation would seek to ensure that nobody would be able to benefit from a wrongful act.

Currently, there is a statutory prohibition from people inheriting assets from a person they killed but there is no prohibition from them inheriting a joint tenancy. 

Mr O'Callaghan said the Government has suggested amendments to his bill that will strengthen it by including people who are convicted of aiding and abetting.

Mr O'Callaghan said he was open to the amendments and the most important thing was that the bill was enacted promptly.

This bill, he said, was a civil remedy.

This means that if someone is not found guilty of murder or manslaughter, but affected parties can prove an individual was responsible for the death of a spouse, then the court can take that into consideration. 

The bill will not apply retrospectively.