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Question

451. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Justice the status of her Department’s research into parental alienation; when this research will be completed; the next steps in relation to same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [60508/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): As the Deputy is aware, to better inform further discussion, my Department arranged for research on parental alienation to be carried out this year, with the Research and Data Analytics Unit of my Department having prepared a research brief.
Following a competitive tender process in May, research commenced on this important work in June. The aims of the research include to:
- Identify the various definitions and characteristics of parental alienation being used internationally.
- Investigate what is known about the prevalence of this issue (in Ireland or internationally) through examination of the literature.
- Identify and outline the various approaches and responses being taken in other jurisdictions to deal with the issue of parental alienation (legislative and otherwise).
- Describe, outline and evaluate any studies which have examined the effectiveness of these various international approaches and assess the relevance of these studies to the Irish context.
I am pleased to say that a draft report was received by my Department at the end of November and is now being reviewed. This important research will help to inform our understanding of the issue, and inform my Department’s consideration of policy and law in this area.