Sentencing Guidelines will ensure fairer sentencing for victims of crime – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
The Judicial Council Bill containing Sinn Féins proposals on Sentencing Guidelines passed through the Dáil this afternoon and is set to be signed into law over the summer.
Speaking this afternoon, Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD said that this is a major change in Criminal Justice Policy:
“I am absolutely delighted to see the passing of the Judicial Council Bill this afternoon given how hard we worked to have amendments providing for Sentencing Guidelines included in this Bill. I believe it to be a significant day for sentencing reform in this state.
"This has never been provided for in Legislation before.
“If implemented as envisaged, the Sentencing Guidelines will create a more just system for victims of crime as a result of more consistent and fairer sentencing.
"For victims of rape and sexual assault in particular, we will hope these guidelines will have a significant impact.
"This is an area that previously we have unfortunately too often seen sentences handed down which have been inconsistent, inappropriate and too weak.
"Such sentences add further insult and injury to the victims of crime.
"This is a landmark and historic change in sentencing Policy in Ireland and will ensure that where Judges depart from the Guidelines, they will have to account for it.
"In future, for the vast majority of criminal cases in this jurisdiction sentences will be handed down based on sentencing guidelines which will come from this legislation.
"Sentencing Guidelines is something which been called upon for many years by organisations such as the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, and the Rape Crisis Network, and others, and it has come about because Sinn Féin has prioritised and delivered it.
"The public deserves to know that offenders will receive a sentence that fits the crime. This will bring about a much fairer and transparent system for the victims of crime which the Irish public can have confidence in.”