263. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the estimated cost of establishing a criminal justice inspectorate; and the estimated full year running cost thereafter. [7045/18]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): In November, 2015, my Department held an open policy debate with a broad range of agencies and civil society organisations in relation to the establishment of a new Criminal Justice Inspectorate as an option to fulfil the inspection function under the UN Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT).  The consensus arising from the debate was that, although such an inspectorate had potential benefits, the OPCAT requirements would best be met by a separate, independent inspection mechanism.
No decision has been taken on the wider issue of establishing a criminal justice inspectorate.  The cost of such an inspectorate would depend on its remit and therefore it is not feasible to estimate costs at this stage.