Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (585)

Michael McNamara


585. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Justice the progress of the review into the operation of the Special Criminal Court and the Offenses Against the State Act 1939 promised by her predecessor; the person or body the review is being carried out by; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7911/21]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Further to my response of 15 December 2020 in relation to this matter, I can inform the Deputy that on 16 February I brought a Memorandum to Cabinet informing the Government of my proposals for the establishment of a group of experts to undertake an independent review of the Offences Against the State legislation.

The Deputy will appreciate it is important that those tasked with carrying out the review have the requisite independence, expertise and experience. The membership of the group has been finalised and will be chaired by Mr. Justice Michael Peart, former Judge of the Court of Appeal. The other members of the Group are -

Dr Alan Greene, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham;

Ms Anne-Marie Lawlow SC, Barrister;

Ms Caitlín Ní Fhlaitheartaigh, former Advisory Counsel at the Office of the Attorney General;

Professor Donncha O'Connell, School of Law, NUI Galway;

Mr Ken O'Leary, former Deputy Secretary General at the Department of Justice.

The review will examine all aspects of the legislation, taking into account the current threat posed by domestic and international terrorism and organised crime. The group will commence its work by 1 March and I have requested that an interim report be provided within three months with an indication of the timescale required to complete this work.