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Question

112. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the State's ratification of the optional protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. [8856/16]

114. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when Ireland will ratify the optional protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment which was signed in 2007; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8863/16]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 112 and 114 together.
I refer the Deputies to my reply to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 357 and 358 of 6 April 2016 setting out the position.
Reply to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 357 and 358 of 6 April 2016.
The Deputy is referring to OPCAT or Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment.
Ireland is a signatory to the protocol and will ratify it, once the necessary legislation is in place to provide for National Preventative Mechanisms (NPMs) to inspect places of detention for the purposes of the protocol.
As part of the process of identifying the appropriate NPMs, consultation with civil society, including a wide range of statutory bodies and agencies, non governmental organisations and academics with an interest in the topic is underway. An Open Policy Debate hosted by the Department of Justice and Equality in November 2015 provided an opportunity for the various parties to come together and discuss options for NPMs. Building on this, proposals are being further developed to facilitate the ratification of the OPCAT.