“The legislation will also equalise with the rest of the UK..”

The NI Criminal Justice Minister, Paul Goggins, MP, has announced proposed legislation for a “complete reform of the law on sexual offences in Northern Ireland which will achieve parity with the rest of the UK.” And, with policing and justice not a devolved matter, the legislation is in the form of a Sexual Offences (NI) Order 2007 [pdf file] – explanatory memorandum here [pdf file]. The BBC report picks out some examples of the proposed reforms.

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  • nmc

    Speaking of Sexual offences, anyone see this?

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/article3177431.ece

    Out in a matter of months? Jesus wept. Fair play to the DUP for following through on this one.

  • joeCanuck

    Yes nmc. I saw that and was astounded at the lightness of the sentence, given that this was not a first offence.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Is this just attempt by Englezes to get Rev & Co in DUP to go with devolution of Justice?

  • harry

    “the law on sexual offences in Northern Ireland which will achieve parity with the rest of the UK”

    could any of those supporters of sinn fein here explain why there are more and more of these stories, that pass under the radar of all but the most politically aware,

    it seems that rather than subtle political aligning with the republic we have quite the reverse.

    NI is much a part of Britain now as it has ever been. the only thing that has changed is that provos have reconciled themselves to this reality.

    how was this “vehicle to united ireland” meant to work again? i forget

  • jone

    It’s a mixed bag. What we lose on brothels we gain on age of consent.

  • jone

    BTW that was a joke before anyone is tempted to go apeshit.

  • Gary Glitter

    Jone,

    with you there our kid

  • BonarLaw

    About time too, now for that Abortion Act…

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Boner,

    good thinking – the Abortion Act could be the ace card to get the Dupers and SF into real partnership.

  • Brian Boru

    If passed it could lead to the age of consent in the Republic being lowered to 16, despite public-resistance. I don’t see the logic in people being allowed to marry ay 16 but for the aoc to be higher.

  • joeCanuck

    40 years ago the minimum age for marriage in the Republic was 16 for boys and 14 for girls.
    Hopefully, that has changed for the girls.

  • DK

    Harry: “how was this “vehicle to united ireland” meant to work again? i forget”

    You get 50% +1 to vote for it. How could you forget that? So, the plan now is instead of frightening unionists (which didn’t work) you try and be nice to them.

    Remind me again what was your alternative – I forget.

  • There is a lot of devil in the detail of this law, which very few seem to recognize.

    Minister Goggins stated in relation to the new proposed legislation: “Importantly the proposals will broaden the definition of rape, make evidential changes to, and give a statutory definition of, consent, to help juries reach decisions in the most difficult of cases”.

    Why do we need to “broaden the definition of rape”? What is actually happening here is that the definition of rape is being widened to make it easier to convict a man who has been accused by his partner / girlfriend / lady he met in the disco / wife etc., The idea of “consent” is crucial here. Take the example of a fellah and a girl meeting on a night out where both of them have too much to drink. They go back to his / her flat and have sex. In the morning, or a week later, she says he raped her. He says she consented and was a very willing partner. They both say they were drunk. How do we know who is telling the truth? The answer is we don’t and there are no independent witnesses so we have nothing else to go on, only the word of the woman and the man (assuming there is no other evidence). So how can we decide whether the accused is guilty or innocent? The answer is we can’t say the accused is guilty because we only have the word of the accuser. There is no other evidence. The fundamental principle upon which our justice system is built is that we are all innocent until proven guilty. If we remove this principle, we remove justice itself. The word of the accuser is not proof.

    This new law will make it easier to convict such men solely on the word of the accuser, who may well be a girl who was drunk and can’t really remember. When this law was being passed in The UK, there was a lot of talk about it, but it seems to have passed by under the radar here. For example, Melanie Phillips wrote an excellent article in 2004 called “Rape of Justice” which can be read at http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=238

    Minette Marrin also wrote an excellent article entitled “Hatred of things male has led to the rape of justice” in The Sunday Times on November 24th, 2002. This article can be found at http://www.minettemarrin.com/minettemarrin/2002/11/hatred_of_thing.html

    Another excellent article on this subject is “Put the Sexual Offences Act to bed” (Thursday 9 March 2006) by Josie Appleton, available at http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/243/ In this article, Ms Appleton states: “The Sexual Offences Act 2003 is a case of feminist theory trying to remake society in its own image”. Josie Appleton hit the nail squarely on the head with that statement. She goes on to say: “the Sexual Offences Act 2003 has dangerous implications for legal rights. The presumption of innocence is in effect being overturned here, placing the burden of proof on the accused. As a result, innocent men could end up in jail”.

    The sad thing is, very few people have woken up to the dangers that Melanie Phillips, Minette Marrin and Josie Appleton have highlighted about this legislation. Extreme feminists and their fellow travellers like to portray these laws as women – friendly, but its interesting to note that even though Melanie Phillips, Josie Appleton and Minette Marrin are all women, they’re not at all keen on this legislation.