Written Answers. - Right to Silence Legislation.

Michael Lowry

Question:

37 Mr. Lowry asked the Minister for Justice the plans, if any, she has to amend the law relating to a suspect's right to silence; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1926/94]

This area of the law is being kept under review by my Department. As the Deputy will be aware, a number of statutory provisions already require persons to provide information to the Garda Síochána in relation to particular offences.

As I informed the House on 14 June 1994 in response to a Private Members' Bill which proposed some changes to the law in this area, I have an open mind about possible further amendments of the law in this regard. However, before the Government would be in a position to bring forward proposals we would have to be satisfied that they represented a proper balance between the conflicting and competing rights which are at issue. Any legislative proposals which may emerge will, of course, be announced in the usual way.