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ICJA 2019 - Sexual Offences: The Challenge of Balancing Rights in the Criminal Justice System

The 6th Annual Irish Criminal Justice Agencies Conference took place on Tuesday, 4th June, 2019, in the Conference Centre, Upper Yard, Dublin Castle. The theme for this year’s conference was “Sexual Offences: The Challenge of Balancing Rights in the Criminal Justice System”.

This one day conference was a collaboration of the Department of Justice and Equality, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Irish Prison Service, the Irish Youth Justice Service (IYJS), An Garda Síochána, The Probation Service and the Association for Criminal Justice Research and Development (ACJRD). The lead partner for 2019 was the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The report includes the following plenary papers:

Conference Welcome and setting the scene
Maura Butler, ACJRD Chairperson

Conference Opening
Charles Flanagan TD, Minister for Justice and Equality

Fidelity to Constitutional Values in the Trial and Punishment of Sex Offences
Tom O’Malley BL

Balancing Victims’ and Offenders’ Rights in Managing Criminal Sanctions
Vivian Geiran, Director, The Probation Service

Recent Adjustments to the Adversarial Law of Evidence
Associate Prof. Liz Heffernan, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin

Offence Reporting by Victims, Stereotypes and Juries – Accessing Experiences from Experts in the Field
Noeline Blackwell, CEO, Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

ROUNDTABLE: Reviewing the Balancing of Rights; Insights and Challenges
The Rt Hon. Sir John Gillen, Tom O’Malley BL and Caroline Biggs SC

Conference Conclusions/Summary of Discussions
Peter McCormick, Asst. Chief Prosecutor, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions

The report includes the following workshop summaries:

Consent in Rape Trials: Turning Laws into Reality
Dr Susan Leahy, School of Law, University of Limerick

Media and Social Media - Impact on Investigation and Prosecution of Sexual Offences
Monika Leech BL

A Multi-Agency Service for Child Victims of Sexual Abuse
Kate Gillen, Social Work Specialist, Child Care Performance and Social Work Unit, DCYA; Rhonda Turner, Principal Clinical Psychologist, Tusla, National Inter-Agency Prevention Programme (NIAPP); and Detective Inspector Michael Lynch, Garda National Protective Services Unit (GNPSU)

Sex Offender Management: Contextualising Policy and Exploring Challenges
Dr Margaret Fitzgerald O’Reilly, School of Law, University of Limerick

Courts Service Provision and Future Plans
Tom Ward, Principal Officer, Circuit and District Courts Operations Directorate

Garda Divisional Protective Services Units
Detective Superintendent Aidan McCarthy, Garda National Protective Services Bureau

Restorative Justice and Sexual Offending: Dilemmas and Complexities
Maeve Lewis, Executive Director and Deirdre Kenny, Advocacy Director, One in Four

Juveniles who have Sexually Abused and the Realities of “Risk”
Rhonda Turner, Principal Clinical Psychologist, Tusla, National Inter-Agency Prevention Programme(NIAPP)

Balancing Rights in Sex Offender Treatment in Prison and in the Community
Sarah Hume, Senior Psychologist, Irish Prison Service and Daragh Bailey, Senior Probation Officer, Sex Offender Risk Assessment and Management (SORAM)

To view a copy of the Conference Programme please click here.

A report with the plenary speeches and summaries of the workshops is currently being prepared.  To view previous ICJA Conference reports, please click here.