The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr. Michael McDowell has signed an order bringing the Criminal Justice Act 2007 into operation.

The Tánaiste said "These new powers are necessary to deal with the new challenges presented by gangland activity. As a result of these measures, the Gardaí, the prosecution services and the courts will be in a better and stronger position to respond to the new challenges. The new law is reasonable and proportionate and contains numerous verifiable safeguards. I am disappointed not to have had more support from the Opposition parties in bringing forward these essential provisions."

The Act became law on 9 May following signature by the President and, following consultation with the Garda Síochána and the Courts Service, the order signed by the Tánaiste brings 54 sections and two Schedules into operation either with immediate effect or, in some cases, with effect from 1 July next.






Right to Silence

The Act sets out a comprehensive range of safeguards which must be observed before an inference is drawn. These include:


Taking of Samples, Statements, etc


Detention Periods


New Offences

The Tánaiste concluded "The new Act, taken together with the changes made in the Criminal Justice Act 2006 in relation to, for example, the admissibility of witness statements will go a long way towards redressing the balance in favour of the law abiding communities who are daily threatened by gangland activity.

I look forward to the introduction of further measures to assist in this ongoing battle against gangland crime, such as the establishment of a DNA database. I have already obtained Government approval for the drafting of legislation on a DNA database."

21st May 2007

Notes for Editors

Sections 3, 6, 9, 10, 14, 15, 18, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 57 come into effect on 1 July. Schedule 1 also takes effect from 1 July 2007.

Part 8 (i.e. section 44 – amendments to the Sea Fisheries Acts) came into effect on 9 May, when the President signed the Bill.