Thursday, 29 January 2004

Questions (68, 69)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

60 Mr. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when the promised legislation to provide for the appointment of a Garda Inspectorate-Ombudsman will be published; when he expects the office to be functioning; the anticipated staffing level of the office; the funding which has been allocated in his Estimates for 2004 for this purpose; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2428/04]

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

The drafting of the Garda Síochána Bill, which will provide for the establishment of a fully independent new body with comprehensive powers of investigation to deal with complaints against members of the Garda Síochána, is at an advanced stage and I intend to publish it shortly. The Bill will also provide a statutory basis for management, performance and accountability in the Garda Síochána.

It is the Government's intention that the new body will be established as soon as possible following the enactment of the Bill. It would be premature at this stage to indicate what the likely staffing complement and budget of the new body will be.

David Stanton

Question:

61 Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he intends to change section 5, subsection 1 of the Domicile and Recognition Foreign Divorces Act 1986 and section 29 of the Family Law Act 1995; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2360/04]

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The provisions to which the Deputy refers no longer have effect in relation to proceedings where the relevant jurisdiction has been exercised by a court of a member state by virtue of Council Regulation, EC, No. 1347/00 of 29 May 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and in matters of parental responsibility for children of both spouses, SI No. 472 of 2001 refers. The council regulation in question entered into force for all member states, with the exception of Denmark, on 1 March 2001.

The provisions continue to be relevant where the pertinent status decision is not one to which the council regulation applies. The question of legislation to deal with divorces, legal separations and annulments which are granted in countries other than those to which the regulation applies is, subject to the disposal of priorities itemised in the Government legislation programme, being considered within the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform with a view to any amending proposals which may be necessary.

Question No. 62 answered with QuestionNo. 35 .