Department of Justice still has ‘no time frame’ for consideration of prisoner transfer ruling

Four CourtsThe Department of Justice has still not indicated a time frame in which it will complete its consideration of a Supreme Court judgment on prisoner transfer applications handed down well over a year ago.

Transfer applications to Ireland from prisoners abroad remain on hold after three prisoners successfully challenged the law detaining them.

In September 2014, the High Court ordered the release of three men after finding that it could not retrospectively adapt, so as to achieve compatibility with Irish law, the warrants detaining the men here following their transfer from English prisons in 2006.

The O’Farrell, Rafferty and McDonald case was appealed to the Supreme Court, where the Government’s case was defeated.

Answering a parliamentary question, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “The judgement is detailed and has implications for the continuance in its present form of the process operated by the Irish Prison Service for transferring prisoners from other States to Ireland.”

He added: “The practical effect of this judgement and whether it will necessitate legislative and/or administrative changes is being examined by officials of the Irish Prison Service and my Department in consultation with Attorney General.

“Given the complex nature of the review being undertaken, it is not possible at this stage to indicate a time frame for its conclusion.”