Thursday, 26 February 2004

Questions (11)

Paul Nicholas Gogarty

Question:

11 Mr. Gogarty asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when the Garda Human Rights Advisory Committee will be established; the persons who will sit on it; its terms of reference; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6371/04]

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

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that a human rights working group advises the commissioner on the development of strategy in the area of human rights and associated issues.

The human rights working group is chaired by a Garda superintendent, and its membership, in addition to Garda personnel, includes two independent human rights advisers — Ms Mary O Rawe and Mr. Brian Ruane, one of whom represents Amnesty International.

This working group is tasked to highlight and promote the fundamental nature of human rights and personal dignity in a policing context in a developed liberal democracy; raise awareness of the national, regional and international standards for the protection of human rights; articulate the key role of the Garda Síochána in the protection of human rights and the dignity of all; identify groups and individuals who may be at risk and require support; audit Garda policies and codes of professional conduct; develop education-training interventions designed to inculcate respect for human rights and personal dignity in all gardaí and formulate proposals and develop partnership initiatives which contribute to the further development of best practices in policing.

In addition, the Garda Síochána have commissioned Ionann Management Consultants to conduct a human rights audit. The final report of the consultants is still awaited and the report's recommendations will be fully considered in due course.