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Justice | Parental alienation case investigations

To ask the Minister for Justice if she has plans to place on hold the current work/research underway in respect of parental alienation until her Department undertakes an investigation into those agents who have submitted proposals for criminalising parental alienation; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

To better inform further discussion in relation to this complex issue, my Department arranged for independent research on parental alienation to be carried out.

The aims of the research were to:  

  • Identify the various definitions and characteristics of parental alienation being used internationally.  
  • Investigate what is known about the prevalence of this issue (in Ireland or internationally) through an examination of the literature.  
  • Identify and outline the various approaches and responses being taken in other jurisdictions to deal with the issue of parental alienation (legislative and otherwise).  
  • Describe, outline and evaluate any studies which have examined the effectiveness of these various international approaches and assess the relevance of these studies to the Irish context.

I am pleased to say that a revised draft report has been received by my Department and is now being reviewed. I have also held a public consultation on the topic, which provided a valuable opportunity for those interested to share their views. All views, opinions and experiences submitted as part of that consultation have been welcomed, and I am sure you understand that I am unable to comment on individual submissions put forward. All of the responses received are currently under review.

Both the research report and results of the consultation will, I expect, create a deeper understanding of the concept of parental alienation, and subsequently inform my Department’s consideration of policy and law in this area. I expect a report, outlining the outcome of the research and consultation process and any arising recommendations, towards the end of this year. There are no plans to put this review on hold.




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