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Sinn Féin secures Government approval for Sentencing Guidelines – Ó Laoghaire

5 July, 2018 - by Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has welcomed the decision of Government has agreed to include Sentencing Guidelines in the Judicial Council Bill, describing it as “highly significant”.

Teachta Ó Laoghaire said:

“We have made sentencing Guidelines a priority for many years now. Far too often, we have seen sentences handed down which have been inappropriate, which have been inconsistent, and which have, in some instances, been inadequate.

“This affects all sorts of crimes, from Road Traffic Act offences at District Court level to decisions relating to sexual offences, which have regrettably, in some instances, indicated a failure to understand the gravity of the violence committed against the victim.

“The public, and victims of crime, deserve to know that offenders will receive an appropriate sentence. They deserve transparency and consistency. They deserve to know that there is a basis for calculating a sentence, and for what reason a particular sentence was handed down.

“Sentencing Guidelines, which exist in numerous jurisdictions, are essential to secure consistent and fair sentencing.

“Today, we have seen a major breakthrough, as Government have agreed, after many years of lobbying, to include Sentencing Guidelines in the Judicial Council Bill and this will become law when this Bill is passed.

“This is very welcome, and this commitment from Government is a very significant development.

 “Sentencing Guidelines will represent a significant step towards a better, fairer system of sentencing, and will ensure that the punishment fits the crime.” 

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