Justice Plan 2022

Posted on Friday, 1 April 2022
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Justice Plan 2022
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On the 28th March 2022, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee T.D. published Justice Plan 2022. This plan sets out 159 actions that build upon Justice Plan 2021 and work towards delivering a justice system that works for everyone. The aim of the annual Justice Plans are to deliver on the five overarching goals set out in the Department of Justice’s Statement of Strategy 2021-2023, A safe, fair and inclusive Ireland.

The Five Goals are:

1. Tackle crime, enhance national security and transform policing;

2. Improve access to justice and modernise the courts system;

3. Strengthen community safety, reduce reoffending, support victims and combat domestic, sexual and gender based violence;

4. Deliver a fair immigration system for a digital age;

5. Accelerate innovation, digital transformation and climate action across the justice sector.



A number of the 159 actions set out in the Justice Plan refer to Human Trafficking. The second report on Ireland’s performance on implementing the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, confirms that trafficking is on the increase in Ireland, mainly for sexual and labour exploitation. They note a high number of undocumented migrants working in personal care, hospitality, fisheries, agriculture (including illegal activities such as cannabis grow houses). While all these individuals may not have specifically been trafficked into Ireland, their precarious employment conditions put them at a serious disadvantage and restrict their choices. The delegation developing the third GRETA report visited Ireland in December 2021 and their report is expected in Autumn 2022.

The Justice Plan 2022 commits to putting into place a revised National Referral Mechanism for victims of trafficking and to the publication of a new National Action Plan to combat human trafficking.


The Justice Plan 2022 acknowledges that during 2022, “a coordinated whole-of-Government response to the forcible displacement of millions of people from Ukraine will also be prioritised”. The EU is granting “temporary protection" status, which means they can live, settle and work in the EU for a period of time. The Department of Justice aims to play a lead role in responding to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia by actively working to Ukraine and its people.Thousands have already arrived with many more to follow and their stay may be well be long term. Government will need to ensure that the correct supports are available across every department.


Direct Provision

There is a commitment in Programme for Government 2020 to end the system of Direct Provision which is supported by The Report of the Advisory Group on the provision of support including Accommodation to persons in the International Protection Process (The Day Report).The corresponding White Paper was published on the 26th February 2021 and sets out Government policy to replace the Direct Provision system and establish a new International Protection Support Service over the next four years. This new system will support those applying for protection to integrate in Ireland from day one with health, education, housing and employment supports. Applicants will stay in a new Reception and Integration Centre for no more than four months. These centres will be delivered on behalf of the State by non- profit organisations. Applicants will receive language and employment activation supports during this initial orientation period. After the first four months, anyone with a claim still in progress will move to accommodation within the community, families with own door and single people will have own room accommodation. Other supports such as access to as legal aid and assistance, access to work, education and training, access to driving licences and bank accounts are provided for which are all welcome steps. The Day Report recommends a time limited system that will deliver decisions faster and makes proposals to bring about an end to the current system of accommodation provision. There is an acknowledgement that sourcing accommodation will be a challenge in light of the current lack of availability of social housing and the high demand for affordable private rental accommodation. However, the Report recommends that the new system be fully in place by 2023 by way of interim changes, requiring a whole of Government response.

The Justice Plan 2022 commits to advancing the delivery of the recommendations of the Catherine Day Advisory Group assigned to the Department of Justice as well as the opening of the regularisation scheme for thousands of undocumented migrants, with applications now being processed. Social Justice Ireland welcomes this commitment and urges Government to meet the targets set out in The White Paper.