Thursday, 29 January 2004

Questions (155)

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

154 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will provide sufficient funding to the Courts Service to facilitate the refurbishment and replacement of various courthouses throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2641/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

Under the Courts Service Act 1998, the Courts Service, which is responsible for the day to day management of the courts, is independent in the performance of its functions. I am responsible for ensuring that the service is adequately funded and, in this regard, €97.49 million is provided in 2004.

Having regard to the statutory independence of the Courts Service, the Deputy will appreciate that it is a matter for the service to decide how the funding provided is specifically allocated. The funding provided allows the Courts Service to progress the implementation of its strategic plans and policies and I am confident that the level of funding provided is adequate, not only to maintain existing levels of service, but also to provide for improvements in services and in court accommodation.