Solicitor for Court | Court Lawyer

Submission made by Michael J Staines & Company to the Commission on the Future of Policing

Submission made by Michael J Staines & Company to the Commission on the Future of Policing

The Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland

The Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland was established by the Government in May 2017. The Commission has a broad terms of reference and is essentially tasked with reviewing the entire basis of policing in Ireland and, on the basis of its findings, to bring forward to the Government proposals for the future of policing. The Commission is due to report by September 2018.

An important stage of the Commission’s work invited submissions from the public. As part of this, Michael J. Staines & Co made detailed submissions on what we believe to be the key areas for reform within An Garda Síochána. We set out below a summary of our submissions.

As criminal defence solicitors, we engage with An Garda Síochána on a daily basis. We acknowledge that the Gardaí play a vital role in our society in upholding the laws of our country and, as part of the criminal justice system, form a key part in a successful, functioning democracy. However, we believe that there are various improvements which could be made to An Garda Síochána in order to continually strive to ensure that we have a fair and balanced system of policing in our country. A properly functioning police force protects both the interests of the individuals who come into contact with An Garda Síochána, and the members of An Garda Síochána themselves.

The following is a summary of the headline areas which we highlighted, in more detail, to the Commission for its consideration:


A. Accountability within Garda Stations

  1. The necessity for a statutory right of attendance for lawyers during Garda interviews
  2. Mandatory CCTV cameras within Garda Stations
  3. Ways of improving the treatment of persons with mental health difficulties
  4. Right to Information and the recognition of the EU Directive on the Right to Information in Criminal Proceedings


B. Improved efficiency and use of resources

  1. A review of the current system of disclosure
  2. Questioning the necessity of the practice of taking a memorandum of interview


C. Interaction with juveniles

  1. Improvements to the treatment of juveniles in custody, in particular querying the practice of holding juveniles in Garda station cells
  2. The use of inferences during interviews of juveniles
  3. Consideration of the current functioning of the Juvenile Liaison Programme