Dáil Éireann - Volume 387 - 21 February, 1989
Written Answers. - Detention of Persons.
Mr. D. O'Malley Mr. D. O'Malley
 34. Mr. D. O'Malley asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if the Government have made representations to the British Government about their decision to derogate from the recent ruling of the Commission on Human Rights over the length of detention of persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Lenihan) Brian (Snr.) Lenihan
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Lenihan): I take it that the Deputy is referring to the recent judgment of the Court of Human Rights in the Brogan case which found the provision of the British prevention of terrorism legislation allowing the detention of an individual for up to 7 days without bringing him before a court to be in violation of article 5.3 of the Convention which requires that a person arrested shall be brought promptly before a judge.
The British Government have informed the Council of Europe that it is their wish, if it could be achieved, to find a judicial process under which extended detention might be reviewed and where appropriate authorised by a judge or other judicial officer. In the meantime, to the extent that the exercise of the relevant PTA powers may be inconsistent with the obligations of the Convention, the British Government have availed of the right of derogation under Article 15(1) of the Convention.
The response to the court's ruling is a matter for the British Government. It is permissible to derogate from a provision of the convention under article 15 which provides that in time of war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation, any high contracting party may take measures derogating from its obligations under the Convention to the extent strictly required by the exigencies of the situation...and no derogation under Article 2, except in respect of death resulting from lawful war or from Articles 3, 4 (paragraph 1) and 7 shall be made under this provision.
The Government have considered for some time that the period of seven days detention should be reduced. This view  has been put to the British Government along with views on other aspects of the PTA legislation and its implementation.
Dáil Éireann 387 Written Answers. Detention of Persons.