Dáil Éireann - Volume 643 - 06 December, 2007

Written Answers. - Remission of Criminal Sentences.

Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if the power to grant or refuse remission to a prisoner lies with his office or with the Courts; if these powers derive from legislation, the Constitution or common law practice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33075/07]

  Deputy Brian Lenihan:Article 13.6 of the Constitution provides that the power of commutation or remission of criminal sentences vests in the President but it may also be conferred by law on other authorities. Section 23 of the Criminal Justice Act 1951 (No. 2) provides that the Government may commute or remit any punishment imposed by a criminal court subject to such conditions as they may think proper. This power is delegated to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (S.I. No. 416 of 1998). Section 35 of the Prisons Act 2007 (No. 10) provides that the Minister may make rules for the regulation and good government of prisons and such rules may provide for the remission of portion of a prisoner’s sentence. New Prison Rules (S.I. 252/07) were signed into law on 29 May 2007 and came into force on 1 October 2007.