The situation remains as set out in my answer to the Deputy's Question No. 83 of 27 February 1997. The question of the appropriate sentence which is to be imposed in any particular case is a matter for the court to determine in accordance with law. It would not be appropriate for me as Minister for Justice to comment on sentences in individual cases. It should be borne in mind, however, that where a sentence appears to be too lenient the law does allow the Director of Public Prosecutions to appeal that sentence.
The complex question of sentencing policy was addressed at length by the Law Reform Commission both in a consultation paper and their report last year on the matter. Action has already been taken on a number of recommendations contained in the report and other recommendations are being examined in my Department.