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The Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality is seeking submissions from interested groups or individuals in relation to its proposed study on the feasibility of introducing a Community Courts system in Ireland.

Committee Chairman David Stanton, TD, said: “Already established in a number of countries, such as the UK, USA and Canada, community courts take a problem-solving justice approach to dealing with what are considered minor crimes such as disorderly conduct, anti-social behaviour, petty theft and criminal damage. The system sees the vast majority of offenders undertaking community service in the neighbourhood to make some reparation for their offences. Availing of health and social services, the system provides immediate access to justice, cuts down on the number of people being incarcerated and, in areas where it is established, has led to a fall in the number of people repeating offences.

The Committee would welcome submissions on the possibility of introducing a community courts system in Ireland. We will consider any written submissions received and may decide to invite a number of contributors to public hearings should the Committee feel that this is necessary.”

If you wish to make a written submission, please do so, preferably by electronic means to the Clerk to the Committee at the following e-mail address only:

The closing date for receipt of submissions is Friday 10 January 2014 at 3pm.

Further details can be accessed here: