President signs Criminal Law Bill 2018 into law

The legislation is part of Ireland’s commitment to combating violence against women

The Criminal Law (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction) Bill 2018 gives the State increased powers to investigate and prosecute crimes committed abroad by Irish citizens and residents. Photograph: iStock

The Criminal Law (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction) Bill 2018 gives the State increased powers to investigate and prosecute crimes committed abroad by Irish citizens and residents. Photograph: iStock

 

President Higgins has signed the Criminal Law (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction) Bill 2018 into law.

The bill, introduced by Minister of State for Justice David Stanton, gives the State increased powers to investigate and prosecute crimes committed abroad by Irish citizens and residents.

Offences under the legislation include assault causing harm, assault causing serious harm, threats to kill or cause serious harm, coercion, harassment, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault and rape. Murder and manslaughter are already dealt with in existing international agreements.

The legislation along with three other pieces of law including the Domestic Violence Act, which protects victims in domestic violence, threatened violence and intimidation cases, is part of Ireland’s commitment to combating violence against women following the ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

Consent

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act enacted in 2017 introduced a statutory definition of consent to a sexual act. It also provides protections to victims of sexual assault to prevent additional trauma when their case comes to court.

The Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act, enacted in 2017, includes a range of measures to protect and inform victims as their case goes through the criminal justice system.

Only 33 signatories out of 45 have ratified the convention.