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Judge to inspect penalty points
27 Jan 2015 23:11
The Government has appointed a judge to independently oversee the operation of the penalty points system.
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Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said an Independent Oversight Authority will be set up to randomly inspect fixed charge notice cancellations.
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She was speaking as she published the garda report on the operation of the system.
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Ms Fitzgerald also said all cases involving gardaí seeking to have points cancelled on the basis that they were performing official duties in their own vehicles are now to be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
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The Director of Public Prosecutions will determine if the points should be cancelled.
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Former President of the Circuit Court, Judge Matthew Deery, will be appointed to the oversight authority.
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Ms Fitzgerald said: "This will provide further reassurance that the policies and practices in place are not only fair and impartial, but that they are seen to be so."
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A new enforcement unit is also being set up to tackle the problem of penalty point notices not being delivered.
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The minister said the unit would follow up on cases where the notices were returned, ensuring that "there will be no place to hide for those seeking to avoid penalty points".
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Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan said: "I believe the implementation of these recommendations will ensure greater accountability and enhance public confidence in the penalty point system."
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Since June a new centralised system, where only three people can cancel penalty points, has been in operation.
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The garda report was considered at today's Cabinet meeting.
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The Departments of Justice and Transport are in talks about possible changes to the law, arising from its recommendations.
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