General Scheme of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2014
The main purposes of the General Scheme to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill are to
- implement the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Child Protection and the Joint Committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children;
- implement the criminal law provisions of an EU Directive on combating child abuse, child exploitation and child pornography and related international legal instruments;
- reform the Sex Offenders Act 2001 in relation to the management of sex offenders;
- reform the law on incest to address a gender anomaly in penalties;
- modernise the law on indecent exposure;
- address concerns regarding the disclosure of 3rd party therapy and / or counselling records;
- confirm that the age of consent for sexual activity is 17 while acknowledging relationships and experimentation among peers by introducing a defence where the parties are aged within two years of each other;
- criminalise the purchase of sexual services.
The legislation is currently being drafted with a view to the publication of a Bill in 2015.
A copy of the General Scheme can be downloaded here