The Department of Justice and Equality has an important and demanding role to play internationally.

In terms of time and resources, our major commitment in this regard is EU Affairs.  We also have involvement with other international bodies such as the Council of Europe and the United Nations.

Our strategies in the area of crime, police co-operation, law reform in both civil and criminal matters, asylum and immigration, as well as equality and anti-discrimination, are influenced by initiatives and programmes arising at EU and international level.

Indeed, practically every division of the Department has some involvement in EU and other international matters that fall within our broad policy area.

While individual divisions do hold responsibility for EU and international work of relevance to their respective areas, policy matters can often cross divisional boundaries as well as Departmental boundaries, and there are certain issues or events which require a high degree of consultation and co-ordination, both within the Department, and between government departments.

Our International Policy Division, which has staff in Dublin, Brussels and Strasbourg, plays a central role in this regard.