Dáil Éireann - Volume 475 - 27 February, 1997
Written Answers. - Habeas Corpus Applications.
Mr. Hilliard Mr. Hilliard
46. Mr. Hilliard asked the Minister for Justice the number of habeas corpus applications before the High Court arising out of the improper composition of the Special Criminal Court between August and November of 1996; whether any of the applicants have applied for legal aid; the cost to the State to date in this regard; whether the Cromien Report has been implemented; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5435/97]
Minister for Justice (Mrs. Owen) Nora Owen
Minister for Justice (Mrs. Owen): I am informed that 15 persons have made application to the High Court for habeas corpus arising from the invalid constitution of the Special Criminal Court. One of these cases was held in January 1997 by a divisional court of the High Court and in a reserved judgment delivered yesterday the Court dismissed the application.
Requests for legal aid in the case of habeas corpus applications fall to be dealt with under the Attorney General's scheme which is not administered by the Department of Justice. I understand, however, that in the case already heard by the High Court, an application was made under the Attorney General's scheme and the court has recommended that the application be granted. I also understand that a number of the other applicants have also applied to the court to have the Attorney General's scheme applied to their cases and that the court has also recommended that their applications be granted.
I am informed that no costs have yet been paid under this scheme in defending the application. In so far as action on the report by Messrs. Cromien and Molloy is concerned, a series of measures relating to procedures and systems in the Department have been introduced. These include revised administrative procedures in relation to the implementation of Government decisions and the handling of correspondence generally.
Dáil Éireann 475 Written Answers. Habeas Corpus Applications.