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  1. High Court / Central Criminal Court


Article 34.3.2 of the Constitution gives the High Court "full original jurisdiction in and power to determine all matters and questions whether of law or of fact, civil or criminal." Section 2 of the Courts (Establishment and Constitution) Act, 1961 established the High Court and s. 11 of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act, 1961 provides that "when exercising the criminal jurisdiction with which it is invested" it is to be called the Central Criminal Court.


Trials in the Central Criminal Court are usually conducted by a single judge sitting with a jury of twelve people. The Court sits at such time and in such places as the President of the High Court may direct and tries criminal cases which are outside the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court. Traditionally, the Court sat exclusively in Dublin.  Since 2004, the court has sat in Limerick, Sligo, Ennis, Cork and Castlebar.


There are a number of offences which are only dealt with in the Central Criminal Court. These include murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to murder, rape, aggravated sexual assault and attempted aggravated sexual assault. Certain offences under the Competition Act 2002 are also triable only in the Central Criminal Court.


The links below will take you to summaries of some of the sentencing decisions of the Central Criminal Court concerning the offence of rape.