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Community courts would provide greater community engagement in the criminal justice process – Conway

9th September 2014 - Aoife Carragher

Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson on Justice and Clare Senator, Martin Conway, welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald that she intends to bring forward proposals on the establishment of a Community Court in Dublin City on a pilot basis

“Following my Private Members’ Motion on Community Courts in the Seanad In February, which received all party support; I am delighted that the Minister for Justice has now committed to the establishment of a community court in Dublin as a pilot project and as part of a strategic review of penal policy.

“Community courts offer flexible sentencing options and operate a system whereby compliance with court mandated treatment/counselling programs is incentivised. By placing the court at the heart of the community and approaching problems in their local context, community courts can offer a pragmatic approach that deals effectively with low level crime.

“I am confident that dealing with local problems at local level will provide greater community engagement with the criminal justice process, which will result in prompt decision-making.  

“I will be urging the Minister to consider the extension of the Dublin pilot project throughout the country.”

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