102. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when Ireland will ratify the optional protocol to the Convention against Torture. [15996/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy is aware, Ireland has signed the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) but has yet to ratify this instrument.
This protocol is in addition to the Convention which Ireland has already signed and ratified. The Protocol is preventative in nature and provides for the establishment of National Preventive Mechanisms which would inspect facilities where a person is held involuntarily.
Though my Department has been tasked with progressing legislation so that this Protocol can be ratified, this instrument impacts on a number of sectors. My Department has therefore consulted a number of key stakeholders during 2018.
On foot of these consultations, a draft scheme is being prepared which I intend to circulate to stakeholders for their comments as soon as possible before it is finalised for submission to Government for approval and transmission to the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel for formal drafting this year.