1408. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Justice when Ireland was required under EU law to enact legislation giving effect to the EU directive on the repatriation of sentenced persons; when the EU commenced taking enforcement proceedings against Ireland for not enacting such legislation; when she plans to publish a bill to comply with EU obligations; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18878/21]


Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy James Browne): Council Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA of 27 November 2008 relates to the application of the principle of mutual recognition to judgments in criminal matters imposing custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty for the purpose of their enforcement in the European Union. Legislation to transpose Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA is being progressed and is on the most recent Government Legislative Programme Priority List for publication.
Officials in my Department are currently working with the Office of the Attorney General with a view to progressing this matter so that a finalised Bill can be brought to Government in May and presented to the Oireachtas as soon as possible thereafter.
Ireland currently operates the 1983 Council of Europe Convention (as amended), which provides that individuals convicted of an offence in another Convention state, and for which they have received a custodial sentence, may be transferred to the state in which they are normally resident to serve that sentence. The 1983 convention is provided for by the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Act 1995, under which the consent of the sentenced person is required before a transfer can take place.
The Framework Decision extends the circumstances in which a person may be transferred back to their resident EU Member State to serve a custodial sentence imposed in another EU Member State. Under the Framework Decision the consent of the sentenced person will not be required where the request for execution of the sentence is sent to that person’s state of nationality. When transposed this will be a separate mechanism to that which currently exists under the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Convention which will replace those arrangements for transferring sentenced persons between EU Member States.
The deadline for transposition of the Framework Decision was 5 December 2011, but as it was agreed under the old Third Pillar it was not, at the time of agreement, subject to enforcement proceedings by the European Institutions. This changed under the Lisbon Treaty and the Framework Decision became subject to enforcement proceedings from 1 December 2014. The European Commission commenced infringement proceedings against Ireland for failure to notify transposal of the measure on 25 January 2019 and subsequently issued a Reasoned Opinion on 25 July 2019. The Commission has, as of December 2020, referred the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union and papers were issued on 2 March 2021.