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  1. Circuit Court

The Circuit Court is made up of a President and 37 Circuit Judges. There are eight geographical "circuits" in the State with one Circuit Judge assigned to each except for Dublin (which has ten) and Cork (which has three).

 

The Circuit Court has the same jurisdiction as the Central Criminal Court (the name given to the High Court sitting in criminal cases) to try and sentence in respect of all indictable offences except for murder, rape, aggravated sexual assault, treason, piracy and related offences.

 

Offences may be tried in the area in which the offence has been committed or the area in which the accused person has been arrested or resides. In Circuit Courts outside Dublin, a trial judge may transfer a trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on application by the prosecution or the defence if he or she is satisfied that it would be unjust to refuse to do so.

 

Criminal trials in the Circuit Court take place with a judge and a jury. The jury decides whether to acquit or convict and the Circuit Judge determines the appropriate sentence. The Circuit Court is not subject to a general limitation on the sentence it may impose although there may be limitations set down in legislation in respect of individual offences. Appeals against sentence may be brought to the Court of Criminal Appeal.

 

The Circuit Court hears appeals from criminal convictions in the District Court. The Circuit Court conducts a full rehearing and can change the sentence imposed by a District Judge.

 

The links below will take you to the database of Circuit Court cases and sentences compiled by I.S.I.S. to date. These do not constitute a complete record of sentences handed down for the period covered.