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World Factbook of Criminal Justice Systems: Republic of Ireland

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 1993
This report provides information and statistics on Ireland's criminal justice system, including its police, courts, and corrections.

The Irish Constitution provides for a tripartite division of power: legislative, executive, and judicial. Irish law is essentially derived from the written Constitution of 1937, statute law, and judicial decisions. Aside from the Constitution, government legislation is the most important source of Irish law. There are five primary legislative influences in Irish law: the statutes of the old Irish parliament prior to 1800, the statutes of the English parliament (1719-1782), the statutes of the United Kingdom parliament (1800-1922), the statutes enacted by the Irish Free State (1922), and the enactments established by the 1937 Constitution. The Irish legal system is adversarial and based on English common law. Although there has been an increase in the use of arbitrators, mainly for minor offenses, it has not altered the structure of the legal system in any way. In a section on crime, this report discusses the classification of crime and crime statistics. A section on crime victims considers victims' assistance agencies, the role of victims in prosecution and sentencing, and victims' rights legislation. In an overview of the police, the report describes administration, resources, technology, training and qualifications, discretion, and accountability. Other sections of the report provide overviews of the prosecutorial and judicial process, the judicial system, penalties and sentencing, prisons, and extradition and treaties. 4 references

Date Published: June 1, 1993