Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (434)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

434. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 179 of 6 March 2014, and bearing in mind the operation of the Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages (Regulation) Act 1993, if he will expand on his statement that the reason it was considered more appropriate to transfer his powers was due to the wider relationship which the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces has vis-à-vis the Minister for Defence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15273/14]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I wish to advise the Deputy that further to Parliamentary Question No. 179 of 6 March 2014, the reason why it was considered more appropriate to transfer my powers as Minister for Justice and Equality, rather than my powers as Minister for Defence, was due to the formal legal relationship that the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces has with the Minister for Defence. This relationship is governed by Section 13 of the 1954 Defence Act as amended by Section 4 of the 1998 Defence (Amendment) Act. To provide in law for an arrangement whereby the Chief of Staff would be directly responsible to another Minister would have added further and unnecessary complexity to the revised process.