Motion on Community Courts

02/21/2014

“That Seanad Éireann:

- recognises that consideration should be given to the establishment of a Community Court in Dublin city centre on a pilot basis;

- recognises that a Community Court could effectively deal with low-level offences, focusing primarily on criminal anti-social behaviour by responding to the underlying problems of offenders;

- recognises that a Community Court may further develop a collaborative working approach amongst service providers and apply a problem solving approach in respect of each defendant in a timely fashion;

- commends the work of the National Crime Council and notes the publication in 2007 of their report on the case for Community Courts in Ireland;

- notes the experience and positive outcomes associated with the use of Community Courts internationally and requests that the potential of such courts in the Irish context be further examined; and

Calls on the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence to consider the issue of Community Courts in Ireland and to establish a Community Court in Dublin city centre as a pilot project to provide for a problem solving approach to addressing criminal anti-social behaviour and to offer further alternatives to imprisonment for such offenders.

— Senators Martin Conway, Maurice Cummins, Paul Coghlan, Colm Burke, Deirdre Clune, Eamonn Coghlan, Michael Comiskey, Jim D ‘Arcy,  Michael Darcy, Imelda Henry, Cait Keane, Tony Mulcahy, Michael Mullins, Catherine Noone, Pat O ‘Neill, Tom Sheahan, Terry Brennan, Hildegarde Naughton.