Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Questions (803)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

803. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice the number of sexual assault and rape cases tried in each of the years 2016 to 2018; the number of convictions achieved; the number of convictions appealed on the grounds of leniency by the Director of Public Prosecutions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16708/21]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy may be 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. This includes the provision of information on the courts system.

To be of assistance, I made enquiries with the Courts Service, who have informed me that statistics relevant to information on rape trials is set out in the Courts Service Annual Reports which are published on the Courts Service website.

The following information on rape trials is taken from statistics published in the Courts Service Annual Reports of 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Year

Number of offences that went to trial

Convictions

2016

279

135

2017

536

241

2018

419

194

I am further informed that information relevant to that sought by the Deputy on sexual assault offences, insofar as they are available, are set out in the Courts Service Annual Reports which are published on the Courts Service website and are available on - https://www.courts.ie/annual-report

In addition, there have been 24 convictions in relation to sexual offences in the years 2016-2018 that were appealed on the grounds of leniency. The following is a breakdown of those appeals by year and some additional information that may be of interest to the Deputy is contained in the attached excel spreadsheet.

Year

Number of Appeals

2016

10

2017

7

2018

7

Tackling domestic, sexual and gender based violence is one of my top priorities. The Deputy, I am sure, is aware, that I recently launched Justice Plan 2021.

It commits to ‘Strengthening community safety, reduce reoffending, support victims and combat domestic sexual and gender based violence’.

It commits to placing victims at the centre of our criminal justice system and working to remove the fear that many victims have of coming forward to report what happened to them.

Justice Plan 2021 has a number of actions to advance this goal, including through the implementation of Supporting a Victims Journey. Supporting a Victims Journey is a detailed roadmap, which when implemented, will ensure we have a more victim-centred system that supports and empowers victims and gives them the confidence to engage with all services knowing they will be supported, informed and treated with respect and dignity at every point and by every person they come into contact with.

Cases 2016-2018

Question No. 804 answered with Question No. 797.