New Bill Approved For Stricter Penalties Against Repeat Sexual Offenders

The Government has approved the drafting and publication of the General Scheme of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Bill 2018.

The new Bill aims to introduce stricter penalties for repeat sexual offenders as well as equalise the maximum penalties for incest at 10 years for both male and female offenders. It will extend and strengthen existing criminal law on sexual offences through the introduction of presumptive minimum sentences for repeat offenders.

The provisions broadly reflect the proposals contained in a Private Members Bill introduced by Minister of State Kevin 'Boxer' Moran last year, which were taken forward by the Government.

Welcoming the decision to approve the drafting of the legislation, Minister for Justice and Equality, Mr Charlie Flanagan said: "I am very pleased to be able to introduce this Scheme which will ensure that a minimum sentence is in place for repeat sex offenders. Minimum sentences are intended to reflect the impact on society of serious crimes.

"Many convicted sex offenders are effectively managed on their release from prison by the Probation Service and An Garda Síochána and do not commit further offences, but some do go on to offend again and this should be reflected in legislation. I would like to thank Minister of State Moran for his work in this area, which helped bring this bill to this point."

Minister of State for Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Kevin 'Boxer' Moran, added: "I welcome the introduction of this Scheme by my colleague, the Minister for Justice and Equality. I believe these proposals will address my very serious concerns around repeat sexual offenders which led to the publication of my Private Member's Bill last year. That's why I got involved in this, and I am satisfied at seeing legislation developed in this important area."


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