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Criminal Jurisdiction Act 1975

Volume 986: debated on Wednesday 18 June 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many applications have been made each year from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland in connection with the Criminal Jurisdiction Act 1975; how many have been made from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland; how many have led to prosecutions; and how many successful convictions there have been;(2) how many applications which are presently pending investigation have been made to the Republic of Ireland from Northern Ireland under the Criminal Jurisdiction Act 1975; how many arrests have been made in relation to these applications; whether the persons concerned are known to be still in custody; what period of time has elapsed since the applications which are pending investigation were made; and whether any representations have either (a) been made or (b) are intended to be made to the Government of the Republic of Ireland with a view to reducing this time lag.

Proceedings under the extra-territorial legislation are a matter for the prosecuting authorities in whose jurisdiction the suspect is. In deciding whether to prosecute, account is taken of all the available evidence, from both the RUC and the Garda Siochana. Since 1 June 1976, when the extra-territorial legislation came into force, there have been two successful prosecutions : in one case three persons were convicted in Northern Ireland in December 1978; in the other one person was convicted in the Republic in April 1978.I understand that the authorities in the Republic are considering a number of other possible prosecutions; it would not be right for me to offer comments. In my discussions with Irish Ministers on 5 October last, we agreed that every effort should be made to make fuller use of the extraterritorial legislation.