Maximum sentence for assault to be doubled from 5 to 10 years under domestic violence reforms
‘Between now and the summer I intend to enact legislation to make stalking and strangulation a stand-alone criminal offence’
Senan Molony, Political CorrespondentSunday World
Justice Minister Simon Harris says there will be strong legislative action on domestic violence by the summer.
Mr Harris plans to enact a raft of laws between now and then to increase maximum sentences, strengthen victims’ rights and increase monitoring of sex offenders
Justice Minister Mr Harris said that the first half of 2023 will see major legal changes to protect victims of domestic, sexual and gender based violence and increase sentences for serious assaults.
“Between now and the summer I intend to enact legislation to make stalking and strangulation a stand-alone criminal offence,” he said today, promising to pilot a measure announced by Helen McEntee as minister. She is currently on maternity leave.
“We will change the law to double the maximum sentence for assault from 5 years to 10 years,” he said.
“We also intend to pass a law to increase the monitoring of sex offenders, including electronic tagging. And in the coming weeks, I will publish a major new Sexual Offences Bill to strengthen the rights of victims.
“It is designed to ensure anonymity for victims in all trials for sexual offences and will extend the victim’s right to separate legal representation,” Mr Harris aid.
“We are determined to see zero tolerance in Ireland towards these crimes and offences.
“This involves all parts of society and Government playing its parts and that’s what the zero tolerance plan published by my colleague, Minister McEntee is about.
“From the perspective of the Department of Justice, these four actions are concrete, practical steps I will take to increase people’s safety.”