IRELAND: New Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald has welcomed the passing of legislation to establish a new DNA Database System.
The Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Bill 2013 was passed by the Seanad today, having been passed by the Dáil on May 1st, and will be signed into law by the President shortly.
The Bill will see the establishment of a DNA database to assist the Garda Síochána in fighting and tackling crime. The database will assist police in linking crimes, and to identify suspects in relation to countless, unsolved crimes.
Speaking after the Bill was passed, Minister Fitzgerald said: “Today is a momentous day as Ireland joins the ranks of countries that exploit to the maximum the potential of DNA to assist with the investigation and prosecution of crime”.
The Minister noted that human rights had to be considered and said that they were very much to the fore throughout this process.
"I was acutely aware of the need to strike an appropriate balance between the use of the DNA database in the investigation of crime in the public interest and of the individual’s constitutional right to fair process, privacy and their good name. I am confident that this Bill, with its many safeguards, particularly in relation to children and protected persons, achieves that balance,” she said.
The database will be operated by the Forensic Science Laboratory, which will be re-branded under the bill to become Forensic Science Ireland.
The Bill runs to some 220 pages and comprises 13 Parts, 172 sections and 4 Schedules. It is available here. The Government see this as another Key 'Programme for Government' Commitment fulfilled.
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