The Law Society of Ireland has welcomed the publication of the O’Malley Review of Protections for Vulnerable Witnesses in the Investigation and Prosecution of Sexual Offences.
Following its publication, Law Society of Ireland President Michele O’Boyle warmly welcomed the adoption of key Law Society recommendations in the Law Society’s submission to the O’Malley Review (May 2019) and indicated the Society’s readiness to immediately engage with the implementation process.
“Following yesterday’s publication of the Review, the Law Society is now engaged with the implementation group established by the Minister for Justice and Equality to consider the Review’s 50 recommendations and the steps necessary to implement them,” said Ms O’Boyle.
Specialist training and practical supports for victims
Ms O’ Boyle stated, “In keeping with its recommendations in the Review, the Society looks forward to engaging further, in particular, on initiatives around specialist training for An Garda Síochána, members of the judiciary and legal professionals dealing with sexual offences.”
Ms O’Boyle highlighted some of the key practical supports for victims contained in the Review. “The Law Society recommended and welcomes the Review’s inclusion of a variety of necessary, sensible and appropriate measures to support complainants both during the investigation of sexual crime and at trial stage.”
“In particular, the provision of appropriate free legal supports, measures to protect vulnerable witnesses, a reduction of delays in sexual offence trials, the introduction of pre-trial hearings, and restrictions on public attendance at trials to preserve anonymity will improve the present process.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Working Group, supported by the Department of Justice and Equality, for their diligent work on this important review,” said Ms O’Boyle.
“I also warmly commend Minister McEntee for her immediate action and commitment to implementing the recommendations. The Law Society looks forward to working with the implementation group to implement the measures for the benefit of victims of sexual crime and the Irish justice system as a whole.”