Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Questions (203)

Noel Grealish

Question:

203. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the offence categories in respect of which fines were imposed by the courts in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the offence categories in respect of which fines were imposed but were not paid in the same period by the number and value in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53570/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, under the provisions of the Courts Service Act 1998, management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service, which is independent in exercising its functions, which include the provision of information on the courts system.  In order to be of assistance to the Deputy, however, I have had enquiries made with the Courts Service.

On foot of those enquiries, I have been informed that regrettably courts statistics are not compiled in such a way as to provide the particular information sought by the Deputy. The Court Services have indicated that there are thousands of offence categories in respect of which fines can be imposed by the court.  The information sought could only be retrieved by way of a manual examination of each individual court record.  As I am sure the Deputy will appreciate, such a lengthy process would require the expenditure of a disproportionate amount of the Courts Service's resources and it is therefore not possible to provide the specific information sought.    However, a wide range of statistics are published in the annual reports of the Courts Service that may be of assistance to the Deputy.

A link to the page on the Courts Service website where all of these reports can be accessed is as follows: http://www.courts.ie/Courts.ie/Library3.nsf/pagecurrent/D171C224DF0083D180257FB10043BD33?opendocument