Written answers

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Garda Interview Procedures

9:00 pm

Photo of Emmet StaggEmmet Stagg (Kildare North, Labour)
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Question 84: To ask the Minister for Justice and Law Reform when arrangements will be made to instruct members of An Garda Síochána that it is not necessary to take a longhand note of interviews with persons in custody where such interviews are being electronically recorded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43014/10]

Photo of Dermot AhernDermot Ahern (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Louth, Fianna Fail)
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Proposals for the introduction of a new system which would allow the taking of contemporaneous written notes to cease where interviews are electronically recorded are being considered by my Department and the Garda Síochána, in consultation with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Office of the Attorney General. While proposals for a new system are well advanced, it is not a straight-forward matter and there are a number of legal, technological, training and financial issues to be addressed before any changeover to a new system can take place.

Accordingly, the matter is one of a number of issues now being considered by the Advisory Committee on Garda Interviewing which I established earlier this Summer. This committee, chaired by the Honourable Mr Justice Esmond Smyth, was established following the recommendations of the Morris Tribunal to oversee policy on interviews in Garda custody, and to ensure that policy and practice relating to interviewing are kept under continual review. I will give very careful consideration to the views of the committee on this matter. In the meantime the current practice will continue.

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