Legislation to codify arrest, search and detention powers coming to Cabinet this year

Charlie Flanagan
Charlie Flanagan

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan told a law conference this morning that he plans to bring legislative proposals to the Cabinet this year to codify powers of arrest, search and detention.

The legislation will also include statutory codes of practice to ensure full clarity and transparency in the exercise of coercive powers.

Mr Flanagan spoke at the opening session of the “Policing, Human Rights & Communities” conference hosted by the School of Law and Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway this morning.

The event is focusing on the main recommendations of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, which published its report last September, and hears from other high-profile speakers including Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and former Justice Minister and EU commissioner for research and innovation Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.

Speaking this morning, Mr Flanagan said: “Today’s conference comes at an opportune time. It has been four months since the Government published A Policing Service for the Future, the four-year implementation plan giving effect to the Commission’s recommendations.

“We will hear today from a range of experts in the fields of human rights, policing oversight, national security and community safety.

“I have no doubt you will challenge and inform us and ultimately help us shape the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations.”

He later added: “In response to the Commission’s recommendation, new legislation will be prepared to codify powers of arrest, search and detention, with associated statutory codes of practice to ensure full clarity and transparency in this key exercise of coercive power.

“This will be challenging and will take some time to get right. But, I regard this work as core to the human rights principle in the Commission’s report and I am pleased that work has now started in my Department to develop a planned approach with a view to making outline proposals to Government before the end of this year.”

Tags: Policing

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