Wednesday 20 February 2019

Court waiting times halved for terror cases

Stock photo
Stock photo
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Waiting times for cases to be heard by the Special Criminal Court, which mainly deals with terror-related offences, have been halved to a year.

This follows the setting up of a second special court in May 2016, which helped reduce the backlog.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said the move underlined the Government's continued focus on tackling serious crime affecting the security of the State and ensuring that those involved in those offences were brought swiftly to justice.

He said dissident republicans posed the greatest risk to the State's security. The minister praised the recent successes of Garda anti-terror units and said these had culminated in significant convictions in the courts. He also highlighted the impact of the appointment of extra judges to the Supreme Court on dates for hearing there.

At its peak, he said, the backlog amounted to almost 3,000 appeals in the Supreme Court, resulting in waiting times of up to four-and-a-half years in some cases. Today, some criminal appeals are being heard by the Court of Appeal after just six months.

Mr Flanagan added: "These measures have helped the Courts Service and the judiciary to significantly reduce waiting lists and have meant that important cases are being dealt with far more quickly, with benefit to victims and to society as a whole."

Irish Independent

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