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.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

18 March 2020
SDLP Demands Clarity For Farmers
An SDLP MLA has demanded financial clarity for farmers across Northern Ireland. Mid Ulster representative Patsy McGlone addressed the NI Assembly at Stormont on Monday 16 March, calling for action on what direct payments will be made available post-Brexit.
13 March 2020
'Finance Minister Must Assist Businesses Through Coronavirus'
The Finance Minister has come under pressure to introduce measures to assist businesses suffering a downturn in trade as a result of coronavirus. Alliance MLA Andrew Muir said a number of firms are currently experiencing difficult times as customer habits change in response to the worldwide viral outbreak.
13 March 2020
Nine New Covid-19 Cases Identified
Nine new cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed in Northern Ireland. Work is underway to establish any contacts the individuals have had. It's unclear as yet whether the cases confirm the beginning of community transmission. A total of 321 people have been tested in recent weeks, of which 29 were positive.
10 March 2020
Coronavirus Closes Schools & Belfast Call Centre
The coronavirus outbreak has caused the temporary closure of two schools and a Halifax call centre. The business in the Belfast Gasworks area closed for deep cleaning today, Tuesday 10 March, after a colleague was diagnosed with Covid-19. It's understood employees have been told not to attend work at the south Belfast site.
10 March 2020
First & Deputy First Minister Cancel Washington Trip
Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill have cancelled their planned trip to Washington on Wednesday. The First and deputy First Ministers will instead attend a COBRA meeting on the coronavirus at Downing Street.