Garda legislative reform

The Government programme of justice reform will substantially strengthen the accountability of the Garda Síochána.

The central objectives of the reform programme are to ensure that public confidence in the Garda Síochána is maintained and that the organisation is fit for purpose for the 21st century. The programme’s progress is overseen by the Cabinet Committee on Justice Reform, which is chaired by the Taoiseach. Read more here. A cornerstone of the Government’s reform programme involves legislative reform.


Legislation to establish an independent Policing Authority

On 18 May 2015, the Minister published the Garda Síochána (Policing Authority and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2015 which provides for the establishment of the new independent Policing Authority to provide independent and objective oversight of the policing functions of the Garda Síochána. Read more in this Press Release. 

The Bill has due regard to the public consultation process undertaken in May 2014 and the consultation seminar hosted by the Minister in Farmleigh on 20 June 2014. Read more in this press release as well as the recommendations contained in the report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on its review of the Garda Síochána Act 2005. The preparation of the Bill also involved an examination of the policing oversight arrangements in operation in other jurisdictions.

Ms. Josephine Feehily has been nominated as the first Chairperson-designate for the Policing Authority. Read more

More information on the establishment of the Authority is available at the Policing Authority website.

Garda Síochána (Amendment) Act 2015 

The Garda Síochána (Amendment) Act 2015 amends the Garda Síochána Act 2005 to expand the remit and powers of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission  (GSOC).

The GSOC is the independent body responsible for receiving and dealing with complaints made by members of the public concerning the conduct of members of the Garda Síochána.

Amendments are also being made to further legislation in respect of the exercise of certain police powers by GSOC

In essence, the Act provides for:

Report of the Policing Authority in accordance with section 62O of the Garda Síochána Act 2005

The Policing Authority was established on 1 January 2016 under the Garda Síochána (Policing Authority and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 to oversee the performance by the Garda Síochána of its functions relating to policing services. Section 62O (2) of the Act requires that the Authority report to the Minister on—

The section also states "the report …may contain recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the Authority” and requires the Minister to lay the report before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as practicable after it has been received. The report was laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas on 19 January 2018.

Further information:

The Garda Síochána (Reserve Members) Regulations 2006 are currently under review.

The Garda Síochána Discipline Regulations 2007 are currently under review.

Garda Síochána (Policing Authority and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2015 

General Scheme for Garda Síochána (Amendment) Bill

Garda Compensation Scheme