DOJ to be split - sort of

Dame_Enda

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Newstalk and the Irish Times are reporting that the DOJ is to be split in two - but remaining under one Minister. It comes following calls for reform in the wake of the McCabe, penalty points, fake crime statistics and NOS and Frances Fitzgerald resignations, which in turn followed the Shatter and Calinan resignations. The Dept will be split into Policing and Security but both will answer to one Secretary General, and each section will have a separate Deputy Secretary General.

Is this an adequate proposal, or should the split DOJ be managed not by one but rather by 2 ministers? My concern is that if one Minister is in charge there remains a risk of collusion.

The Toland Report had recommended a split, but included the option of two separate justice departments under different ministers, as in the UK. Varadkar says the problem with that is that the Constitution only allows 15 Cabinet ministers, meaning an existing one would have to be axed.

Brendan Howlin suggested separating security functions from the Gardai by setting up a new security body so that AGS can concentrate on policing, but Varadkar expressed scepticism, calling it complicated.
 
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gleeful

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So our single police force will be managed by both a policing authority and a dedicated government department? And GSOC will oversee it too?

Never waste a crisis to add another layer of management.
 

FunkyBoogaloo

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That's the right response... Reform the department by adding another layer.


Leave the rot (AGS) alone. Nothing to see there.
 

Mick Mac

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So our single police force will be managed by both a policing authority and a dedicated government department? And GSOC will oversee it too?

Never waste a crisis to add another layer of management.
It also can create the illusion of appropriate supervision when you don't want to grasp the nettle.
 

hiding behind a poster

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Is this an adequate proposal, or should the split DOJ be managed not by one but rather by 2 ministers? My concern is that if one Minister is in charge there remains a risk of collusion.
How so?
 

statsman

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Which department should be dropped from cabinet to create the new DOJ2? I hated the split in Finance under Kenny.
 

Sync

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It makes practical sense in a way. Given the size of the forces though, keeping it under one Minister makes sense to me. The draw back is the tension it will cause between the 2 departments (Who has control and when etc) and having one Minister oversee it helps with that.
 

gleeful

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It makes practical sense in a way. Given the size of the forces though, keeping it under one Minister makes sense to me. The draw back is the tension it will cause between the 2 departments (Who has control and when etc) and having one Minister oversee it helps with that.
Whats the point of the Policing Authority under this new arrangement. Seems like there will now be at least 2 quangos between the Minister and the governance of the police.

Meanwhile no one is talking about reform of the courts - which are an organisational mess on par with the Gardai.
 

Henry94.

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If it’s one Minister it’s one department in reality. We are in a process of being seen to do something about the Garda crisis without really don’t anything because it would cost too much and upset too many vested interests. I’m not sure any party in government would be willing to take on the job of reform. The Gardai can hurt you politically.
 

hiding behind a poster

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Because he or she gets to appoint their shared Secretary General.
It'd be a government appointment anyway, so if it's a shared Sec Gen that would be the case regardless of how many ministries were involved.
 

Sync

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Whats the point of the Policing Authority under this new arrangement. Seems like there will now be at least 2 quangos between the Minister and the governance of the police.

Meanwhile no one is talking about reform of the courts - which are an organisational mess on par with the Gardai.
I guess you always start with the problem statement.

We live in a different world to 25 years ago. Boutique terror attacks are in, the days of UDA/IRA phone call warnings seem quaint. There are cells out there crossing borders, using cutting edge technology to plot attacks, there are guys in their sheds filling up nail bombs and hiring vans to crash into busy streets. 9/11 didn't really change things for countries like Ireland in terms of threat, the 2004 Madrid bombings did.

So you need a department which is fully funded with the best toys, the best international connections, ringfenced from the rest of the Gardai budget so they're not affected by any cuts and aren't being called away to talk down little Johnny who's stolen his da's shotgun so he can steal 100 quid from the post office.

How you create that dept (Who reports to who, 1 minister or 2, how is there judicial oversight etc) is then logistics which can be handled once you've decided on the actual fix.

Pointing out "Waaaah why are they fixing THIS problem when there's OTHER problems as well" is silly. Treat them separately.
 

Dame_Enda

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It'd be a government appointment anyway, so if it's a shared Sec Gen that would be the case regardless of how many ministries were involved.
Each govt dept has its own Secretary General. But if the DOJ was split into two separate departments each under a different Secretary General and different minister, then that would reduce the danger of malpractice permeating the justice system because each department would be run by a different person. It would reduce the risk of both divisions colluding with each other to cover stuff up or commit malpractice.
 
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Socratus O' Pericles

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Will organised crime be under policing or security?
 

Fellow

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This is the type of story that gets floated in a quiet news period.

It must be unprecedented for govt depts to share a secretary general. A shared minister often happens.

Other questionable aspects are courts to be on the home affairs side. I would have thought courts are the very stuff of justice. And international policy to be with justice despite home affairs having a significant international element too eg immigration and asylum. In that situation, separation into 2 depts lacks credibility.
 

Analyzer

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Effectively the government has decided that it was all the fault of the civil service.

Nothing to do with the inept bungling buffoon that is Frances 'I did not read THAT particular email' Fitzgerald.

Is any surprised ?

The decision is then met with approval by the ISIS Times and Dinnytalk.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
The main thing of course is that it creates another Deputy Secretary General of the DOJ post.

We can all stand down. There's to be an extra civil servant. There doesn't appear to be much embarrassment either at the Policing Authority given that they have been effectively neutered as an organisation under the recent O'Sullivan fiasco either.

So. No disciplinary action to speak of within AGS, an extra Deputy Secretary General of the DOJ and the Policing Authority confirmed as another toothless quango.

Job looks Oxo.
 

Dame_Enda

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SF are correct to call for each division to have a separate Secretary General, and I'm no Shinner.
 

The Rahenyite

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Merge with or abolish the ministry of Children. It's not needed!
 


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