Frances Fitzgerald T.D. was appointed Tánaiste and Minister for Justice & Equality in May 2016. She previously served as the Minister for Justice & Equality from May 2014. Prior to that she was the first Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in Ireland and lead the establishment of Tusla, the new Child and Family Agency.
As Minister for Justice & Equality, Frances introduced legislation for the holding of the Marriage Equality referendum. On May 23rd 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to vote in a referendum to introduce an equal right to civil marriage for same-sex couples. In November 2015, Frances signed the Commencement Order for the Marriage Act 2015 which officially made marriage equality a legal reality. Frances has overseen the enactment of the Children and Family Relationships Act which provides for the most comprehensive reform of family law since the foundation of the State.
Under Frances’s watch Ireland signed the Istanbul Convention on tackling domestic violence. Frances published an Action Plan on implementation of the Istanbul Convention in Ireland and introduced a comprehensive new Domestic Violence Bill.
Frances has also introduced the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Bill. This landmark new bill seeks to put victims at the heart of the Justice system by introducing, for the first time, statutory rights for victims of crime. This bill follows on from the establishment of new dedicated Victim Service Offices in every Garda division nationwide.