Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Questions (156, 157)

Gino Kenny

Question:

156. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons tried for cannabis-related offences that sought free legal aid in each of the years 2013 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14389/19]

View answer

Gino Kenny

Question:

157. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the cost of free legal aid for those tried for cannabis-related offences in each of the years 2013 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14390/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 156 and 157 together.

The Deputy will be aware that, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service and I have no role in the matter. Section 4(3) of the 1998 Act provides that the Courts Service is independent in the performance of its functions, which includes the provision of statistics.

However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has informed me that the information sought by the Deputy cannot be provided as statistics in respect of drugs offences are not recorded in such a way as to tell the category of drugs e.g. cannabis. In light of this, it is not possible to provide the information sought regarding legal aid for cannabis related offences.