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Government agrees to independent review of the Department of Justice

The Justice Minister says the department will be part of “root and branch” reform in Ireland.

New Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald speaking last week.
New Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald speaking last week.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated 22.45

THE GOVERNMENT HAS agreed to an independent review of the Department of Justice as it responds to the Guerin Report.

Responding to the report, which saw the resignation of former Justice Minister Alan Shatter, the government has agreed to a number of its recommendations.

These include:

  • The establishment of a Commission of Investigation
  • The carrying out of a comprehensive inquiry into a number of issues by the Garda Inspectorate
  • A strengthening of the legislation covering the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC)
  • An independent review of the performance, management and administration of the Department of Justice
  • The Independent Garda Authority to be established by the end of the year
  • A new Garda Commissioner to be recruited by open competition

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said that many of the “grave issues” now being debated, raised in the Guerin Report and beyond, were the subject of previous reports, particularly that of the Morris Tribunal.

“This spectrum of issues is complex and deep-rooted ranging from high-level issues such as oversight, change management and the role of whistle-blowers; to local administration and internal communication; to matters of basic policing, performance and human resources.

It requires comprehensive and sustained corrective action. And that’s what will happen.

She added that the Department of Justice could not be above the “root and branch” reform that she herself committed to last week.

“I am further committed to ensuring that the men and women of An Garda Síochána have the support they need to carry out their duties and responsibilities professionally and effectively.

“I have committed to root and branch reform of the administration of justice in this country and this includes the government department responsible for this area.”

Breaking down the Guerin report: The complaints, the cases, the mistakes>

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