Question to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Mr Alan Shatter, TD)
To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality in relation to the Family Relationships and Childrens Bill, if he will consider including providing legislative basis to recognise the rights of grandparents regarding access, particularly in cases of children in the care of the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer
For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 18th July, 2013.
Under the law as it stands, a relative of a child may apply for access to the child. The relevant provision is section 11B of the Guardianship of Infants Act 1964, as as inserted by the Children Act 1997. There are existing recommendations for simplification of this provision in the Law Reform Commission’s report on Legal Aspects of FamilyRelationships, because it currently involves a two stage process in which the person seeking access must first obtain the leave of the court to make the application for access. I am considering this recommendation in developing the Family Relationships and Children Bill.