Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (225)

Paul Kehoe

Question:

225. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the prisoner transfer scheme following the Supreme Court judgment in a case (details supplied); if legal clarity on applications by prisoners abroad for transfer here has been sought; when the decision will be made on outstanding applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51577/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

This detailed Supreme Court judgement raised a number of complex issues about the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Acts and their administration. It indicated that legislative change is required to facilitate the process of transferring prisoners from other States - in particular the UK - to Ireland. My Department is at present finalising a draft scheme of a short Bill to bring forward such changes.  This draft scheme will be brought to Government as soon as possible.

A further judgement in 2018 of the Court of Appeal has a bearing on those applications that were on hold as a result of the complex issues raised by the Supreme Court decision. The outcome is that the statutory scheme provided for in the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Acts must be implemented, and each application must be considered on its own merits under the existing legislation. All relevant applicants have been informed of this and will be further informed of any developments in their respective cases as they arise. The Deputy will appreciate that I cannot prejudge the outcome of any such application

 I am informed by the Irish Prison Service that there are currently 27 applications being processed. Each application is at a different stage of the application process. All require the collation of a number of detailed reports, e.g. Garda Reports and Probation Service Reports. Therefore it is not possible to give a specific time frame in which a decision can be made in any application, given the complex nature of the information required and the number of external agencies involved in the process.

Question No. 226 answered with Question No. 220.