4. Criminal Law and Procedure

4.1 Suspended Sentences

In 2015, the Commission began work on its project on Suspended Sentences (4th Programme of Law Reform, Project 5). This project will examine the principles that courts apply when deciding whether to impose a suspended sentence. Some aspects of the suspended sentence are dealt with in section 99 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 (as amended). The project will build on the Commission’s previous work in this area, including its analysis of the principles of sentencing contained in its 2013 Report on Mandatory Sentences (LRC 108-2013). The project will also complement the work of the Irish Sentencing Information System (ISIS), which is involved (under the auspices of the Board of the Courts Service) in gathering, analysing and disseminating information on sentencing in the State.

4.2 Sexual offences: consent, knowledge and belief

In 2017 the Commission began work on its project to examine and make recommendations on whether changes should be made to the element of knowledge or belief in the definition of rape in section 2 of the Criminal Law (Rape) Act 1981 as amended, taking into account the jurisprudence in relation to this definition and, in particular the judgment of the Supreme Court in The People (DPP) v O’R [2016] IESC 64. This project arose from a request to the Commission made in April 2017 by the Attorney General, in accordance with section 4(2)(c) of the Law Reform Commission Act 1975.

 Back to list of current projects