Graphic Logo for ISIS the Irish Sentencing and Information services depicting scales and text
  1. Court Of Criminal Appeal

The Court of Criminal Appeal was established by 3 (1) of the Courts (Establishment and Constitution) Act, 1961. When the Court of Criminal Appeal hears appeals, it is composed of one judge of the Supreme Court and two judges of the High Court.


The Court of Criminal Appeal may hear appeals from sentence from convicted persons. On hearing such appeals the Court may quash the sentence and make any order it deems appropriate or it can substitute an appropriate sentence. In substituting a different sentence, the Court is bound by the same limits that would have applied to the trial judge.


The Court of Criminal Appeal can review sentences where some new or newly discovered fact demonstrates that the sentence imposed in respect of an offence was excessive.


The Court also hears appeals against sentence on the grounds that they are unduly lenient. Such appeals are brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions. On hearing such appeals, the Court of Criminal Appeal may leave the sentence as it is or may substitute a different sentence.


The Court has a general discretion when hearing appeals in respect of sentence to make whatever order is necessary for the purposes of doing justice in the individual case before it.


The links below (and under the heading "Court of Criminal Appeal" to the left of the screen) will take you to case summaries of some of the judgments of the Court of Criminal Appeal concerning sentencing in respect of certain offences.


Dangerous Driving causing death
Review on the grounds of undue leniency (s.2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1993)
Sexual Assault
Posession of a controlled drug (s. 15A of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977)