The Department of Justice works to advance community and national security, promote justice and equality and safeguard human rights, to achieve our vision of a safe, fair and inclusive Ireland.
As of Autumn 2019, the Department has significantly restructured and has moved to a new functional organisation model. The Department is now aligned under two pillars, Civil Justice and Criminal Justice, each led by a Deputy Secretary General. Each pillar contains the following functions: Policy, Legislation, Governance, and Operations & Service Delivery. Further details on the recent restructuring programme can be found here: Reform and Transformation
In addition, the Immigration Service Delivery function located in the Civil Justice pillar manages the delivery of immigration and international protection services for the Department and the State.
Supporting the work of both pillars are the enabling functions of Transparency, Corporate, and European Affairs. A range of other responsibilities are also exercised on behalf of the Department by agencies operating on either a statutory or an administrative basis.
Full details of our strategy and business plans can be found in the Department of Justice Strategy Statement 2016-2019 and in our Department of Justice One Plan 2017.
Helen McEntee TD is the Minister for Justice. She was appointed to this role in June 2020.
Helen was elected to Dáil Éireann in a By-Election in March 2013, and re-elected in the February 2016 general election. Deputy McEntee was appointed by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD to be Minister for Mental Health and Older People at the Department of Health in May 2016 as part of the new Partnership Government.
In June 2017, as part of a government reshuffle by newly appointed Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, Minister McEntee was promoted to the position of Minister of State for EU Affairs.
She previously served on the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications, and was also a member of the Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht.
James Browne TD is the Minister of State at the Department of Justice with responsibility for Law Reform. James was appointed to this role in September 2020.
James was elected to Dáil Éireann in the February 2016 general election as a representative of Wexford and re-elected in the 2020 general election.
He has served as the Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Mental Health, leading initiatives to reform mental health services in Ireland, including the Mental Health (Amendment) Act 2018 and served on the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Mental Healthcare.
He was born in Enniscorthy, Wexford, and is the oldest of a family of 4. He was educated locally at St. Mary’s CBS, Enniscorthy before attending Waterford IT, University College Cork and the King’s Inns. He was called to the Bar in 2006.
The Role of the Secretary General
Oonagh McPhillips is our Secretary General. The Secretary General is the senior civil servant and non-political head of the Department. Her job is day-to-day management and non-political strategic planning and direction.
The Secretary General is the Accounting Officer. She is responsible for safeguarding the funds under the control of the Department and for ensuring economy and efficiency in the running of the Department.
Quality Customer Service
Annual Reports: This section contains Annual Reports of the Department and the various Agencies and bodies under its remit.
Lobbying: a list of Designated Public Officials who work in the Department of Justice, as required under Section 6(4) of the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015.
Access to information
- Freedom of Information: This section contains details about Freedom of Information in the Department, including how to make a freedom of information request to the Department.
- Data Protection: This section contains information on Data Protection in the Department, including how to make a Subject Access Request for personal data.
- Irish Language Scheme: includes information on the Department's commitments under the Official Languages Act 2003