Minister Flanagan today commences new law criminalising offences committed abroad by Irish citizens or residents
· Act dealing with serious offences committed abroad comes into effect today
· Rape, murder and manslaughter amongst offences included
29 April 2019
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has announced that a new law criminalising serious offences committed abroad by Irish citizens or residents – the Criminal Law (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction) Act 2019 – has come into force from today (Monday). The passing of the law enabled Ireland to ratify the Istanbul Convention on combating violence against women and domestic violence on International Women’s Day.
Minister Flanagan said: “The commencement of this Act signifies that Ireland is committed to our international obligations and that we are steadfast in our efforts to combat violence against women and all forms of domestic violence. These new provisions can now be used to tackle violent crimes committed by Irish citizens and residents abroad.”
Under the new Act, individuals who commit particular offences abroad will be liable to be prosecuted under Irish law. These include offences under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 and the Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990, as well as murder and manslaughter.
Offences for the purposes of the Act include:
· assault causing harm;
· assault causing serious harm;
· threats to kill or cause serious harm;
· sexual assault;
· aggravated sexual assault;
· rape, or
· rape under section 4 of the Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990;
The Minister added: “This Act, in conjunction with other pieces of legislation such as the recently enacted Domestic Violence Act 2018, the Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 and the Victims of Crime Act 2017, enable Ireland to effectively tackle these serious crimes at home and abroad.”
The Act was signed into law by the President on 5 March this year, and allowed Ireland to ratify the Istanbul Convention on International Women’s Day on 8 March.
Notes for Editors:
The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence, commonly known as the Istanbul Convention, is a significant legal instrument in combatting sexual and domestic violence.
The Convention entered into force 1 August 2014. The Convention is a broad based document which covers a number of Departments’ policy areas. The purposes of the Convention are to protect women from all forms of violence, and prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women and domestic violence. The Convention also aims to ensure the design of a comprehensive framework, policies and measures for the protection of and assistance to all victims of such violence.
Ireland ratified the Istanbul Convention on International Women’s Day, 8th March 2019.