Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Questions (140)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire


140. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the establishment of the sentencing guidelines and information committee; and when he expects draft sentencing guidelines to be published. [40583/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Judicial Council Bill was enacted on 23 July 2019 and provided for the establishment of the Judicial Council. I intend to have the Judicial Council established by the end of this year and steps are being taken to achieve this within that time frame.

The establishment of the Sentencing Guidelines and Information Committee will take place after the Judicial Council has been set up. As set out in the Judicial Council Act, the Sentencing Guidelines and Information Committee is to be established no later than 6 months after the first meeting of the Judicial Council.

In terms of other progress in this area, I recently signed a commencement order (S.I. No. 457/2019) which brings certain provisions of the Judicial Council Act into operation. These provisions allow for the appointment of the interim Secretary to the Council. They also provide for the process of identifying and recommending to the Government persons who are suitable for appointment to be lay members of the Sentencing Guidelines and Information Committee, the Judicial Conduct Committee and panels of inquiry.

My commencement of these provisions will enable the Council to begin its work on establishment day and will allow the Committees of Council to undertake their functions within the time frames specified in the Act.