Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesperson Niall Collins TD is calling on the Minister for Justice to stand by her previous commitments and ensure that those involved in the caseload of complaints she has received from public representatives and directly from members of the public are dealt with thoroughly and that those who wish to be interviewed directly are facilitated.
An answer to a Fianna Fáil parliamentary question and reports from some complainants suggest that the recently appointed panel of Barristers will deal with a paper review only.
Deputy Collins commented: “There is considerable unease and dissatisfaction with the emerging news that the work of the legal panel will only amount to a desk-top paper review. At a very minimum one would expect that the legal panel would interview the complainants as part of their scoping exercise prior to making any recommendation to the Minister for further action and follow up.
“The Minister needs to recognise this inadequacy, remember her earlier promise to take these complaints seriously and put it right. Otherwise people will lose confidence in this new process’ integrity. Presently we are told that approximately 220 cases are to be reviewed and I know having referred a number of these that simply carrying out a paper exercise will not suffice. These cases represent people’s real life experiences and many feel that the Justice system has failed them, they deserve at a minimum to be heard by this legal panel at least once.”