Sentencing

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People who attack police officers or ambulance staff could face stiffer prison sentences in Northern Ireland following a review, Justice Minister Naomi Long has indicated. At present, offenders brought before a magistrates' court can be jailed for up to six months and those brought to the Crown Cour

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Proposals to significantly expand the spent convictions regime in Northern Ireland for the first time since its introduction more than four decades ago have gone out for consultation. The consultation, to run until 5 March 2021, presents proposals to reform the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Northern

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The maximum sentence for conspiracy to murder will be increased to life imprisonment under a new bill announced by the government. The Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2020 will, among other provisions, update the law to provide judges with the option of imposing a maximum sentence o

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A sharp decline in the use of suspended sentences in Ireland may be down to sentencing courts failing to correctly apply two key principles, the Law Reform Commission has suggested. The law reform body's new report on suspended sentences recommends that the newly-established Sentencing Guidelines an

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A new Law Reform Commission report on suspended sentences is due to be published on Monday, the law reform body has said. The report comes three years after the commission invited submissions on an issues paper concerning both the principles that apply to imposing suspended sentences and the procedu

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Responses to the public consultation on sentencing policy will be published in August, Justice Minister Naomi Long has said. The public consultation was launched last October as part of the first review of sentencing policy in Northern Ireland since 2005.

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Prisoner numbers continued to rise in Ireland last year, putting pressure on the penal system in areas including prisoner accommodation, the provision of services and the volume of prisoner escorts. The total number of prisoners in custody in 1 January 2019 was 3,904, which increased to a peak of 4,

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