Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys has said that new powers allowing gardaí to seek mobile phone passwords will only be used where a search warrant has been issued.

Speaking to RTÉ's News at One, Ms Humphreys said it would be relevant in child abuse investigations and in the investigation of economic crime and corruption.

She said that gardaí need the powers to fight such type of crimes in the modern world and it allows gardaí access information in "a timely and efficient" way.

Ms Humphreys said the new Garda Powers Bill will "modernise and simplify the law on existing garda powers, while also protecting the rights of individuals".

She said there are penalties ranging from €5,000 to €30,000 and imprisonment of between one and five years on indictment if individuals fail to give the password.

Ms Humphreys said the penalties are proportionate to the type of offence the search warrant relates to.

She said that these new guidelines on the garda powers of arrest will make it necessary for gardaí to show in court that they had reasonable grounds for an arrest.

Ms Humphreys said new "stop and search" guidelines allow for an additional right to information regarding a search warrant and also allows for a lawyer to be present.