|Act of Parliament|
|Long title||An Act to permit the Release on Probation of Offenders in certain cases, and for other matters incidental thereto.|
|Citation||7 Edw. 7. c. 17|
|Royal assent||21 August 1907|
The Act allows judges wide latitude to dismiss a charge tried summarily against a defendant even when the court thinks it is proved, or to conditionally discharge a defendant (whether the charge is tried summarily or on indictment). The power may be invoked when the court is of the opinion that
having regard to the character, antecedents, age, health, or mental condition of the person charged, or to the trivial nature of the offence, or to the extenuating circumstances under which the offence was committed, it is inexpedient to inflict any punishment or any other than a nominal punishment, or that it is expedient to release the offender on probation[.]
In practice, cases may be dismissed under the Probation Act for a defendant on condition that he pays a contribution to charity, or repays an amount stolen, or pays the costs arising from his actions. They may also be dismissed where the offence is technical or trivial. The application of the Act has occasionally caused controversy where victims or persons affected by the crime feel that the dismissal is inappropriate.
Despite the name, a dismissal under the Probation Act does not put the offender on probation in the sense of having to report to and engage with a probation officer, unless it is expressed to do so. Indeed, if a defendant is "given the Probation Act", it does not count as a criminal conviction, although it has been known to negatively affect travel abroad.
- Schedule 1 to the Statute Law Revision Act, 2007
- "Report on Court Poor Box: Probation of Offenders". Archived from the original on 15 November 2010.
- "Meath night rider gets Probation Act - News - Roundup - Articles - Anglo Celt". Archived from the original on 3 April 2010.
- http://www.fingal-independent.ie/premium/news/probation-act-for-ducie-after-donation-made-2108180.html (subscription required)
- "Ryanair pleads for leniency from judge after breaking rules on unsolicited emails".
- "Probation Act". Wexford People. 24 March 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
- "Donegal Town Man gets Probation Act for Possession of Cannabis - Local - Donegal Democrat". Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
- "McBrearty 'stunned' as Garda gets Probation Act: ThePost.ie". Archived from the original on 13 May 2005. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
- "Gardai told to stop calling Probation Act 'a conviction' - Courts, National News - Herald.ie". Archived from the original on 9 February 2010.
- http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/2001/07/03/story7066.asp[permanent dead link]