Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the information the family of a juvenile is entitled to in respect of the consideration by the national juvenile office of a file referred to it by An Garda Síochána relating to an alleged criminal incident involving persons under 18 years of age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24376/19]
120. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the factors taken into account by the national juvenile office in deciding if a file referred to it by An Garda Síochána should be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions or be dealt with under the Garda juvenile diversion programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24377/19]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 119 and 120 together.
The statutory basis for the Garda Diversion programme is contained in Part 4 of the Children Act 2001 (as amended). Under Section 24 of that Act, decisions on whether to admit particular cases to the Diversion Programme lie with the Director of the Diversion Programme, who is a member of An Garda Síochána not below the rank of Superintendent, appointed by the Garda Commissioner.
The Deputy will appreciate that the detailed operation of the Diversion Programme and the progression of crime files for prosecution are operational matters for the Garda authorities and neither I as Minister nor my Department have any involvement.
In addition, the issues referred to by the Deputy are connected to current proceedings for Judicial Review and, in these circumstances, it would not be appropriate for me to make any detailed comment.
To be of assistance, I have requested observations from the Garda authorities on the issues raised by the Deputy, insofar as they do not impact on the current proceedings, and I will contact him directly when a Garda response is received.