Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Questions (156)

Rory O'Hanlon

Question:

175 Deputy Rory O’Hanlon asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the progress made in expediting the processing of transfer of exhibits for use in criminal prosecutions from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland; if his attention has been drawn to the concern expressed by Committee A of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Document No. XXX at the need of letters of request to go through a number of procedures from Dublin to London via Northern Ireland in both directions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26503/09]

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

I am in receipt of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly's report of its inquiry into cross-border policing co-operation. I wish to thank the Assembly for taking an interest in this area and for delivering the report, the conclusions of which are being given careful consideration in my Department. In relation specifically to the issue raised by the Deputy, the Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act 2008 provides, inter alia, for the taking of evidence in this jurisdiction for use in another (and vice versa). I am advised that the provisions in question are generally operating satisfactorily. Discussions are ongoing between my Department and the relevant authorities in Northern Ireland with a view towards further improving mutual legal assistance in relation to cross-border criminal investigations and prosecutions.