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Question

106. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason the third section of the Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act 2008 was passed in December 2014 six years after the passing of the rest of the Act; the measures that were taken to update this particular section of legislation to ensure that it would adequately reflect the developments in technology and digital rights legislation in those intervening six years; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22621/15]

111. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if an assessment was carried out on the recently enacted section 3 of the Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act 2008 to ensure that it is in full compliance with the European Charter on Fundamental Rights following the 2014 ruling of the European Court of Justice, which found the European data retention directive to be invalid in view of the fact that it does not uphold the rights to privacy and freedom of expression; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22627/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I propose to take Questions Nos. 106 and 111 together.
I wish to advise the Deputy that all parts of the Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act 2008 were enacted in that same year having been passed by both houses of the Oireachtas.
Part 3 of the Act was commenced in December 2014. The need to commence Part 3 of the 2008 Act arose from the changes brought about in line with the provisions of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union. In accordance with that Treaty, instruments providing for co-operation in police and criminal justice matters were to be implemented within 5 years of the Treaty coming into effect, that is by 1 December 2014. Had Ireland not commenced Part 3 by that date, it risked infringement proceedings and potential fines.
The 2008 Act gives effect to the EU Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters. It applies only to mutual assistance in relation to criminal matters and is the basis for Ireland's mutual legal assistance arrangements with other EU member states. Part 3 of the Act deals with mutual assistance cooperation in relation to criminal investigations and prosecutions where the lawful interception of communications is considered necessary and appropriate. The adequacy of legislation in such areas is being kept under review in the light of developments of the kind referred to by the Deputy.
The Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act 2008 has no relationship to, or bearing on, the measures provided for in the Data Retention Directive prior to the findings of the European Court of Justice.