15/10/2003

Minister announces review of sex offence laws

Criminal Justice Minister John Spellar today announced plans for a review of sex offence laws in Northern Ireland.

In a written ministerial statement read out in Parliament, Mr Spellar said the review followed on from proposed changes to the law on sex offences in England and Wales.

"The review will seek to adopt, and adapt to the Northern Ireland context, much of the work undertaken in the Home Office review of sex offences. It will also take into account proposed reform of the law in England and Wales resulting from the Sexual Offences Bill currently before this House," the Minister said.

Mr Spellar said it was the government's intention to draw upon the knowledge and experience of interested groups, and to issue a consultation document in early 2004.

The appropriate legislation is expected to be introduced during the 2004/05 parliamentary session, he added.

(MB)

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