Dáil Éireann - Volume 622 - 29 June, 2006
Written Answers. - Legislative Programme.
Mr. Morgan Mr. Morgan
Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the human rights criteria taken into consideration when he designates countries for the purposes of legislative provisions contained in the Transfer of Execution of Sentences Act 2005. [25203/06]
Mr. D. Ahern Mr. D. Ahern
Mr. D. Ahern: Section 5 of the Transfer of Execution of Sentences Act 2005 provides that the Minister for Foreign Affairs may, by order, designate for the purposes of that Act a country that has become party to, or has given effect in its laws to, the Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons of 18 December 1997 or the Schengen Convention of 19 June 1990. As the Deputy will be aware, the 2005 Act has not yet come into operation. The designation of any country under Section 5 of the Act has therefore not yet arisen.
 However, the action of the Minister for Foreign Affairs in designating a country under Section 5 of the Act would be on the basis that a particular country had become party to, or had given effect in its laws to, one of the two agreements. This would be a factual matter, not requiring a specific assessment of the human rights situation in the country in question.
However, it should be noted that under the Protocol and the Schengen provisions, Parties are not under an obligation to take over the execution of foreign sentences. Even after a country has been designated, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform has discretion in each particular case as to whether or not to proceed.
Dáil Éireann 622 Written Answers. Legislative Programme.