March 2011 to 07 May 2014. Alan Shatter was appointed in March 2011 by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny as Minister with responsibility for two Irish Government Departments, the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Defence. Under Alan’s steerage, a substantial reform agenda was implemented with nearly 30 separate pieces of legislation published, many of which are now enacted including the Personal Insolvency Act 2012; National Vetting Bureau Act (Children & Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012; Criminal Justice Act 2011; DNA Database Act, the Human Rights and Equality Commission Act.
During Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2013, Alan chaired the Council of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) and, in January 2013, in Dublin Castle, the meeting of EU Defence Ministers. Under his guidance, during the course of the Irish Presidency, substantial progress was made at European Union level in the adoption and development of new legislation and measures across a broad range Justice and Home Affairs issues.
In his role as Minister for Defence, Alan implemented substantial reform in the Department of Defence and restructured the Irish Defence Forces.
Alan was first elected to the Dail (Irish Parliament) in 1981. In opposition he served, over the years, as Fine Gael Front Bench Spokesperson on Justice and Law Reform; Children; Health; Environment; Labour; and Defence. As a lawyer with a keen interest in human rights issues; a former Chairperson of FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres); and a strong advocate for radical legal, social and environmental reform he produced a wide range of reforming legislation.
Alan was, for many years, a member of the Irish Parliament’s Joint Committee on Justice and Defence; Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs; and (between 2009 and 2011) the Committee on Constitutional Amendment relating to Children. As a family lawyer, he acted as an advocate in the Irish High and Supreme Courts and initiated cases before the Court of Human Rights.