Written Answers. - Court Procedures.

Proinsias De Rossa

Question:

815 Proinsias De Rossa asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when the arrangement, enabling gardaí to certify their evidence thereby relieving them of the need to continually appear in court, will be extended to the Ballymun Garda station, Dublin 11. [1363/99]

I am assuming that the Deputy is referring to section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1997. This section allows gardaí, in respect of arrests other than those executed under a warrant, to give evidence by certificate of certain procedural matters, including evidence relating to arrest, charge and caution with the purpose of relieving them from the obligation of attending in person in court to give such evidence orally. The certificate is tendered in court by a Garda court presenter.

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that section 6 currently operates in all Garda districts outside the Dublin Metropolitan Area and the following Dublin Metropolitan districts:

Store Street in relation to Dublin District Court.

"A" (Kevin Street), "L" (Ballyfermot) and "Q" (Lucan) Districts in relation to Kilmainham District Court. "N" (Bray) District in relation to Bray District Court.

The Garda authorities are currently evaluating the operation of section 6 in the districts in question and will consider its expansion when this review is concluded.