I propose to take Questions Nos. 150 and 151 together.
I am to advise the Deputy that the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons was ratified in Germany on 31st October, 1991 and came into force there on 1st February, 1992. The Transfer of Sentenced Persons Acts, 1995 and 1997 provide a mechanism whereby non-nationals serving sentences in Ireland may apply to serve the remainder of their sentences in their own countries and, similarly, Irish persons who are imprisoned overseas may apply to serve the remainder of their sentences in Ireland. Transfer requests under the Convention are normally made by a prisoner through the governor of the prison in which he or she is detained.
To be considered eligible for a transfer to the prisoner's home country, the prisoner must meet the criteria as set out as follows:
i) the prisoner must be a national of the country to which they want to be transferred, (there are some circumstances where a period of permanent residency may be sufficient rather than being that nationality)
ii) the sentence imposed is final, therefore remand prisoners, or prisoners who have an appeal against the conviction are not considered for such transfers
iii) there is at least 6 months left to serve on the sentence imposed
iv) the offence that the prisoner has been convicted of is considered to be a crime in their home country too.
I decide on all such requests following the collation of a number of reports from various agencies setting out the consequences of such a transfer. For any such transfer to take place, the consent of all three parties in the process is required i.e. the sentencing state, the receiving state and the sentenced person.