Written Answers. - Prisoner Transfers.

Enda Kenny

Question:

853 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 176 of 29 March 2000, the progress made since his last reply regarding the transfer of a person (details supplied) to serve sentence in an Irish prison; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19164/00]

The person concerned has applied in the United Kingdom for a transfer to serve the balance of his sentence here under the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. However, his formal application has not yet been received from the United Kingdom authorities. Officials in my Department contacted the UK authorities last week and were advised that the UK authorities were not yet in possession of all the documentation required to complete the application for submission to me for my consideration. When the UK authorities have collated the necessary documentation and reports required under the convention, I am assured that they will forward his application for my consideration without delay.

As I have explained in the past the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Act, 1995, require that extensive documentation be exchanged between both jurisdictions in order to allow an application to be fully considered. A three-way consent is also required to enable any transfer to take place i.e. from the authorities of both jurisdictions and from the person concerned. On receipt of those consents – assuming they are forthcoming – an application must be made to the High Court for a warrant authorising the transfer of the person concerned and his or her continued detention here.

These procedures are required under the convention and must be adhered to in processing each application. Unfortunately, it is not possible to say how long it will take for this application to be considered. However, I assure the Deputy that every effort will be made to complete this process as quickly as possible.