Justice and Security
From the outset of this process, we have identified a number of areas in the Justice area that are particularly important to ongoing cooperation between the UK and Ireland, and have been taking steps to mitigate the effect of a UK withdrawal from the EU as much as possible. The areas in question are
particularly relevant to the peace process in Northern Ireland.
Cooperation in the area of law enforcement particularly vis-à-vis Northern Ireland is at an all-time high and the Government is determined to maintain this. Measures are in preparation to ensure that we have a viable extradition system with the UK and that the continuing exchange of law enforcement data is maintained in a manner compatible with EU instruments on data protection.
The framework built up by the EU over the last 45 years covers a multitude of areas that affect citizens in different ways. While its impact is not as immediately visible, a sophisticated range of EU instruments cover such matters as judicial cooperation in civil matters, including both family law as well as commercial transactions. While there are a range of other international instruments that address many of these issues and will apply post Brexit, it has to be recognised that these are not always as effective as
the comparable EU instruments.
The free movement of people within the Common Travel Area is underpinned by cooperation between the two States in the form of exchange of data and addresses issues such as persons seeking international protection. The withdrawal of the UK from the EU will require new measures including legislative changes. Preparations are ongoing in the Department of Justice and Equality and in consultation with the Attorney General’s Office.
Justice and security issues will continue to be of primary importance as part of ongoing cooperation between Ireland and the UK, including in the context of the Northern Ireland peace process. The Government has taken a number of steps in this area to mitigate the effects of Brexit.
Measures will be in place to ensure a viable extradition system with the UK in a no deal scenario, and to maintain the system of exchange of law enforcement data in a manner compatible with EU instruments on data protection.
Part 13 of the Brexit Omnibus Act provides a legislative basis for alternative extradition arrangements under the 1957 Council of Europe Convention on Extradition. These arrangements are less straightforward than the current European Arrest Warrant (EAW) process, but they ensure that in a no deal scenario there will be an extradition framework in place between Ireland and the UK.
The free movement of Irish and UK nationals within the Common Travel Area is underpinned by cooperation between both jurisdictions on issues such as persons seeking international protection.
Solutions have been identified to ensure the necessary exchange of police information between Irish and UK law enforcement agencies within the framework of the EU Data Protection regime.
While it is recognised that there may be challenges in terms of security, organised crime and smuggling in the context of a no deal Brexit, as part of the general increase in recruitment and resourcing of An Garda Síochána, additional Garda resources have been deployed to border areas in recent months and this process is continuing.
In the event of a no deal Brexit further resources can, and will, be provided immediately through normal redeployment. Any medium to long-term implications would require assessment in the light of experience. Secondary legislation on the following matters has been completed and is ready to be brought in to force, when and if required:
Designation of the UK as a safe third country for processing migration claims;
Recognition of the qualifications of UK solicitors;
Provision for UK citizens to become members of An Garda Síochána and the Garda Reserve;
As outlined in the Chapter on legislation, Part 14 of the Brexit Omnibus Act will be commenced in July 2019 to amend the Immigration Act 1999 and 2003. This is to confirm that immigration officers, in considering removing or deporting a person from the State, have the power to undertake refoulement consideration, in line with EU and international obligations.
The Government is bringing forward the Family Law Bill 2019 following the enactment of the Thirty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution (Dissolution of Marriage) Act 2019 on 11 June 2019. The Bill contains provisions to ensure that divorces granted in the UK after 1 March 2001 will, post-Brexit, continue to be recognised in Ireland on the basis of habitual residence, rather than the domicile requirement, as provided for in the Domicile and Recognition of Foreign Divorces Act 1986, which applies to divorces granted in nonEU states.
Government is bringing forward the Family Law Bill 2019 following the enactment of the Thirty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution (Dissolution of Marriage) Act 2019 on 11 June 2019.
New secondary legislation is being prepared to facilitate the payment and recovery of maintenance payments in cross-border cases.
The overarching government Brexit communications campaign will work to ensure that changes to family law are communicated to the relevant audiences