Thursday, 11 July 2019
Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Bill 2019: Committee Stage (Resumed) and Remaining Stages
I move amendment No. 3:
In page 7, between lines 31 and 32, to insert the following: “(4) Within three months of the Commissioner coming to such an agreement as outlined in this section, the Minister shall require from the Commissioner a report outlining the nature, purpose and value of this agreement to the objectives in subsection (1), and the Minister shall cause a copy of this report to be laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas.”.
As discussed, there are already powers in the Garda Síochána Act for the Garda to enter into agreements with police in other jurisdictions. The legislation before us will provide for the Garda to enter into agreements with agencies that are not police but rather those that are comparable to the Policing Authority, the Garda Inspectorate, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, GSOC, coroners' inquiries or historical related units such as the anticipated historical investigations unit or the independent commission for information retrieval. Similarly, it will allow GSOC to enter into agreements with comparable organisations. The purpose of the amendments is to provide that the Garda Commissioner or GSOC will lay a report before the Houses of the Oireachtas, via the Minister, outlining the purpose, nature and value of the agreement. Entering into such agreements is valuable and useful and, in the context of the legislation, will facilitate people's ability to have truth and justice for their individual cases. In general, it will be of value if the Houses are kept informed of any such agreements through a report being laid before them.