MORE INFORMATION IS to be made available to the public on sentencing in Irish courts thanks to a number of new initiatives.
The information on three new initiatives was given by the Chief Justice of Ireland, Susan Denham, who said they will advance the Irish Sentencing Information System (ISIS) committee’s work of bringing sentencing information to the public, lawyers and the judiciary,
The Chief Justice said:
I hope these initiatives, which were some time in the making – will create a more regular and up to date provision of information on sentencing. Our sentencing website gives a practical overview and a snapshot in time of how our courts treat various offences, who committed them and the circumstances in which they took place. It is also a hub for keeping up with the latest judgments and academic thoughts on various crimes and sentencing.
The ISIS committee said that it will recommence populating its online database with information on sentencing in criminal courts, thanks to resource support that has been made available to it. It is to appoint two interns under the JobBridge National Internship Scheme shortly.
Cliona Saidlear of the Rape Crisis Network Ireland told TheJournal.ie that work on this database “should be a core part of the funding of the justice system” and should not be dependent on the availability of interns alone.
The ISIS committee said it also plans to recommence providing information on sentencing in relation to specific issues, and will hold seminars on issues relevant to sentencing, such as a seminar by Lord Justice Colman Treacy, a native of Dublin and an appeal Judge in the UK.
It has published analysis of recent rape sentencing on the website, www.irishsentencing.ie which it said was “the result of a great deal of work over recent months”. The initial data on this site came from a pilot project in February 2007.
The news comes after Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said that a review of sentencing in Irish courts is expected to conclude during the course of this year.