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Question

167. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she is aware of findings from the Law Reform Commission and the strategic review of penal policy that mandatory and presumptive sentencing does not achieve its aims; and her plans to repeal these laws. [12695/16]

Answer

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Penal Policy Review Group was tasked with carrying out a strategic review of penal policy. The Review Group's Report, which I published in September 2014, made a number of recommendations about sentencing. Adopting an approach similar to the Law Reform Commission in its Report on Mandatory Sentences published in June, 2013, the Review Group recommended that no further mandatory sentences or presumptive minimum sentences be introduced and existing provisions should be reviewed. At the time of publication of the Review Group Report I pointed out that it was my preference to maintain the minimum mandatory life sentence for murder as was also recommended by the Law Reform Commission. The issues relating to mandatory sentences and presumptive minimum sentences is being kept under review.