Griffin welcomes progress in legislation on tagging of sex offenders

Fine Gael Kerry TD, Brendan Griffin, has welcomed confirmation from the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter TD, that work on legislation to introduce electronic tagging for sex offenders is progressing well. Deputy Griffin raised the issue in a Parliamentary Question to the Minister.

 “I have raised this issue on a number of occasions over the last year and a half, and I am glad to receive assurances from Minister Shatter that he expects legislation that will allow for the electronic tagging of sex offenders to be brought forward in the coming months.

 “I strongly believe that tagging would act as an effective disincentive to re-offending. Furthermore, the Programme for Government contains a commitment to introduce a series of post-imprisonment restraint orders for violent and sexual offenders, including electronic tagging, and I am eager for this commitment to be fulfilled.

 “The Department of Justice has been examining the law on sex offences, including a review of the Sex Offenders Act 2001. This includes the consideration of the tagging of sex offenders in specific circumstances; indeed Minister Shatter has previously indicated to me that tagging sex offenders would be given priority before the tagging of other offenders is considered.

 “The Minister has reassured me that the review of the law is progressing as quickly as possible, and that it is close to completion. The Minister expects to bring a draft General Scheme to Government in the coming months with a view to seeking approval for drafting of the necessary legislation.

 “I have previously suggested that tagging should also be considered for those found guilty of drugs offences, as it could act as a useful tool in cracking down on gangland crime and related activities. The Minister has stated that the new legislation will not be limited to the reform of the Sex Offenders Act, and I am hopeful my suggestions will be considered in this regard.”

ENDS

Contact:

Brendan Griffin TD

066-9795666

087-6528841

Note to Editors:

Please see below the Parliamentary Question submitted and response received by Deputy Griffin.

QUESTION NO:  211

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Mr. Shatter)

by Deputy Brendan Griffin for WRITTEN on Wednesday, 15th May, 2013.

*  To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will explain delays in bringing forward legislation to provide for the electronic tagging of sex offenders; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Brendan Griffin

REPLY.

My Department has been conducting an examination of the law on sexual offences generally. This includes a review of the Sex Offenders Act 2001. In that context, legislative proposals being considered include measures for the electronic monitoring of sex offenders in specific circumstances.

Having regard to competing legislative priorities, the review has been progressed as speedily as possible.  This work is close to completion and I expect to bring a draft General Scheme to Government in the coming months with a view to seeking approval for drafting of the necessary legislation.

This will be wide-ranging legislation and is not limited to reform of the Sex Offenders Act 2001.  Inter alia, it will also implement the recommendations of two Oireachtas committees, facilitate full compliance with the criminal law provisions of relevant EU, UN and Council of Europe legal instruments and reform the law on incest.

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