IPRT welcomes the publication of the Joint Committee on Justice’s Report on Inspection of Places of Detention Bill 2022
14th March 2023
IPRT welcomes the publication of the Joint Committee on Justice’s Report on the topic of ‘Pre-Legislative Scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Inspection of Places of Detention Bill 2022 published on 8 March 2023.
In particular, we welcome the following recommendations for this important legislation:
- Rec 1 (immediate ratification of the OPCAT prior to the legislation being enacted in full)
- Rec 2 (the legislation should guarantee the functional and financial independence of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPMs) under relevant Heads)
- Rec 8 (a broader approach towards the definition of places of detention should be adopted, to enable NPMs to inspect all places where an individual has their liberty deprived)
- Rec 13 (adequate funding and resourcing is provided to the Inspectorate of Places of Detention to ensure that it can take on its expanded role)
- Rec 14 (the legislation should guarantee prisoners the right to avail of sufficient translation services and translated materials which correspond with international requirements on translation for prisoners)
- Rec 17 (the legislation should lay out clearly a formal role for civil society in the designation and operation of NPMs)
- Rec 18 (in line with Article 35 of OPCAT, the legislation should make clear the privileges, immunities and protections that would be afforded to members of the NPM)
- Rec 19 (PVC’s membership should be proportionate to the prison size, have gender balance and include at least two standing members, who have experience being imprisoned or detained in an approved centre)
This Bill, and the ratification of OPCAT, represents an historic opportunity to strengthen the culture of human rights within Irish detention facilities and put in place safeguards to ensure that some of the most vulnerable individuals in our society are protected.
Read more detail on IPRT's position in our article 'A Review of the General Scheme of the Inspection of Places of Detention Bill' on PILA Ireland's website here.
IPRT’s submission to the Joint Committee on Justice on the General Scheme of the Inspection of Places of Detention Bill is available here.
A recording of the Justice Committee meeting on this Bill is available here and here.