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Sentencing guidelines a landmark moment for the justice system – Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD

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Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD said today that putting sentencing guidelines into law for the first time is a landmark moment for the Irish Justice system.

Speaking in advance of a Seanad debate tonight on the Judicial Council Bill the Cork South Central TD said the change in policy will make the system fairer and more transparent for victims of crime.

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaoire said:

“Far too often in our courts you see sentences handed down which are inadequate, inappropriate and frankly too weak.

“Such sentences add further insult and injury to the victims of crime.

“This evening the Seanad will debate a series of amendments to the Judicial Council Bill which will see for the first time sentencing guidelines being put not law.

“That is something which has come about because Sinn Féin has prioritised it and negotiated it with the government.

“It is something, which has been called upon for many years by organisations such as the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, The Irish Penal Reform Trust and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.

“In future I believe that the vast majority of criminal cases in this jurisdiction sentences will be handed down based on sentencing guidelines which will come from this legislation.

“So it is a landmark moment for the Irish Justice system and sentencing policy and will bring about a much fairer and transparent system for the victims of crime which the Irish public can have confidence in.”

ENDS

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