Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he has examined the GSOC inquiry report on the death of a person (details supplied); the actions he is taking to address the issues raised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24668/18]
487. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the actions being taken to address the comments made by GSOC in the report it concluded on 29 March 2017 on the complaints made by a person (details supplied) and in particular the reference to improved access to information for victims and their families; the actions taken to address this comment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24730/18]
488. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the improvements that have been made or actions that have been taken to address the comments regarding a joined up system for An Garda Síochána, courts and prison services to talk to each other in view of the comments on a GSOC report in relation to the death of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24731/18]
543. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to improve the sharing of information between court districts and the PSNI and An Garda Síochána in order that it would be clear that a defendant has revoked the provisions of bail of a previous court hearing and therefore should not be allowed further leniency as in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25593/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 483, 487, 488 and 543 together.
As the Deputies are aware, the GSOC report into complaints surrounding this tragedy was recently furnished to me. A copy was also provided to the family of the young man who died in the road traffic incident and subsequently published by GSOC.
It is important that I remind the Deputies that there is still an on-going GSOC investigation and I do not want to say anything that might be considered to prejudice or interfere with that investigation.
The observations that have been provided in the report into improvements that could be made are currently being considered by my officials. However, I can inform the Deputies that there have been developments already undertaken which should begin to address deficiencies identified in the report. In relation to all Gardaí being aware of the information which is available to victims, this has been clarified in the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017. It specifies the list of information which all victims must be given by members of An Garda Síochána when they first come in contact with a victim. The Act also specifies a long list of information which a victim may opt to receive during the progress of a case.
There is also an onus on the DPP to provide information where it is requested by a victim of crime, a family member of a victim in a fatal case, or a solicitor acting on behalf of either of the aforementioned. In relation to requesting information from the DPP in respect of a decision not to prosecute, since late 2015 a person can ask the DPP for a summary of reasons for a decision not to prosecute through the Victim Liaison Unit.
If that person is not satisfied with the reasons offered, they can ask the DPP to review the decision. Such requests are limited to requesting information concerning decisions not to prosecute made on or after 16 November 2015 and in fatal cases, where the death occurred on or after 22 October 2008.
On a general note, the Deputies should be aware that it is the role of the prosecuting authority to bring to the attention of the court any convictions, bail or court orders of which the court needs to be aware prior to reaching a decision on the case before the court.
There is in place an information sharing platform between An Garda Síochána and the Courts Service which transmits electronically the outcomes of District Court cases from the Courts Service Criminal Case Tracking system (CCTS) to the Garda Síochána Pulse system. There are plans in place to extend this exchange to other courts in due course.
As regards cross-border information sharing, the Deputies will be aware of the close relationship between An Garda Síochána and the PSNI and the importance that is attached to cooperation and information-sharing, be it on a police-to-police basis or through other formal mechanisms. Clearly that principle of the importance of information-sharing should apply to all situations where it is appropriate and practicable to do so.
As the Deputies will appreciate, the comments made by GSOC encompass a number of matters across many agencies. These matters are being reviewed by officials from my Department and it is my hope that any deficiencies identified by the report will be addressed without delay.