143. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when she will finish reviewing the recommendations of a major independent review of Garda misconduct complaints; if the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin will be given consideration, in view of the amount of evidence in this case; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19531/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Deputy is referring to the mechanism established for the independent review of certain allegations of Garda misconduct, or inadequacies in the investigation of certain allegations, which have been made to me as Minister for Justice and Equality, or the Taoiseach, with a view to determining to what extent and in what manner further action may be required in each case. A panel consisting of two Senior and five Junior Counsel was established for the purpose, all selected on the basis of their experience of the criminal justice system.
The volume and complexity of cases has led to the review taking longer than originally anticipated, but it is important that counsel take the time necessary to consider each case fully and carefully. The independent review is at a very advanced stage with recommendations returned to my Department in approximately 88% of the 319 cases that have been referred to them.
The first batch of draft submissions and letters of notification of the outcome of the review have been submitted to me for consideration. I believe that it would be in the best interests of all concerned that an independent element should now be brought into this part of the process. I have decided to appoint a former judicial figure to oversee the preparation of these summaries. That person appointed will be able to independently vouch for the fact that the summaries of conclusions and the reasoning behind them are a fair reflection of the advice which has been made available to the Department.
The House will appreciate that the IRM was an unprecedented process which went far beyond anything which any previous Government has done to address the type of issues which had arisen. I hope the House can accept that what I have decided about communicating decisions is the right course of action to take.
As I explained to the Deputy in my reply to his previous Parliamentary Question 16 of 19 February, 2015, the person to whom he refers is included amongst those whose complaints are under consideration by the Panel.