Department of Justice and Equality

The Department of Justice and Equality (Irish: An Roinn Dlí agus Cirt agus Comhionannais) is a department of the Government of Ireland. It is led by the Minister for Justice and Equality who is assisted by three Ministers of State. The department's mission is to maintain and enhance community security and to promote a fairer society in Ireland.

Department of Justice and Equality
Department overview
Formed22 January 1919
JurisdictionIreland
Headquarters51 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, D02 HK52
53°20′14″N 6°15′41″W
Minister responsible
Department executive
Websitejustice.ie

Departmental team

Overview

The mission of the Department of Justice and Equality is to maintain and enhance community security and equality through the development of a range of policies and high quality services which underpin:

  • The protection and assertion of human rights and fundamental freedoms consistent with the common good
  • The security of the State
  • An effective and balanced approach to tackling crime

In July 2014 the department embarked on a comprehensive program of change, including the recruitment of a new secretary-general following an independent review.[1]

The official headquarters and Ministerial offices of the department are in 94 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2.

Responsibilities

The department's main areas of responsibility include:

  • Implementing government policy on crime and protecting the security of the State (National Security Committee).
  • Providing policy advice in relation to the criminal justice system (Garda Síochána, the Courts, Prisons and Probation and Welfare Services) and supporting the operation of this system.
  • Continuing reform of the criminal law and certain areas of the civil law.
  • Playing a central part in the implementation of core elements in the Belfast Agreement.
  • Co-operating in relevant EU and international matters and promoting Ireland's interests within the associated areas of responsibility.
  • Implementing the Government's asylum strategy and further developing national immigration policy.

Executive Agencies

The department has five Executive Agencies, which legally are integral parts of the Department but which are managed separately:

Affiliated bodies

Among the state agencies and other bodies affiliated to the department in some way are:

No state-sponsored bodies report to the department.

History

In the revolutionary period, the office was known as the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924, passed soon after the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, provided it with a statutory basis and renamed it as the Department of Justice. This act provided it with:[2]

the administration and business generally of public services in connection with law, justice, public order and police, and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same (except such powers, duties and functions as are by law reserved to the Executive Council and such powers, duties and functions as are by the Constitution or by law excepted from the authority of the Executive Council or of an Executive Minister), and shall include in particular the business, powers, duties and functions of the branches and officers of the public service specified in the Second Part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Dlí agus Cirt or (in English) the Minister for Justice.

The Schedule assigned it with the following bodies:[3]

  • All Courts of Justice and the Offices thereof save in so far as the same are reserved to the Executive Council or are excepted from the authority of the Executive Council or of an Executive Minister.
  • Police.
  • The General Prisons Board for Ireland and all Prisons.
  • The Registrar of District Court Clerks.
  • The Public Record Office.
  • The Registry of Deeds.
  • The Land Registry.
  • The Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests for Ireland.

Alteration of name and transfer of functions

The name and functions of the department have changed by means of statutory instruments.

Date Effect
2 June 1924 Establishment of the Department of Justice [4]
3 February 1993 Transfer of Civil law reform, civil legal aid and the family mediation service to the Department of Equality and Law Reform [5]
8 July 1997 Transfer of Equality and Law Reform from the Department of Equality and Law Reform [6]
9 July 1997 Renamed as the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform [7]
1 June 2010 Transfer of Equality, Integration, Disability and Human Rights to the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs [8]
2 June 2010 Renamed as the Department of Justice and Law Reform [9]
1 April 2011 Transfer of Equality, Integration, Disability and Human Rights from the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs [10]
2 April 2011 Renamed as the Department of Justice and Equality [11]

References

  1. "Reform and Transformation". Department of Justice and Equality. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  2. "Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924, Section 1: Establishment of the Departments of State". Irish Statute Book. 21 April 1924. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  3. "Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924, Schedule". Irish Statute Book. 21 April 1924. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  4. "Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924 (Commencement) Order 1924". Irish Statute Book. 30 May 1924. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  5. "Justice (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 1993". Irish Statute Book. 3 February 1993. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  6. "Equality and Law Reform (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 1997". Irish Statute Book. 8 July 1997. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  7. "Justice (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 1997". Irish Statute Book. 8 July 1997. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  8. "Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 2010". Irish Statute Book. 18 May 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  9. "Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 2010". Irish Statute Book. 18 May 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  10. "Equality, Integration, Disability and Human Rights (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2011". Irish Statute Book. 29 March 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  11. "Justice and Law Reform (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 2011". Irish Statute Book. 29 March 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
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