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Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2013

Section 1: Review of indefinite offender notification requirements

This section inserts a new Schedule 3A into Part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (‘the 2003 Act’). This Schedule provides for the review and discharge of indefinite sex offender notification requirements. The 2003 Act places requirements on sex offenders convicted of ‘relevant’ offences, as set out in the Act, to notify the police of certain personal details. If they do not comply with these requirements they are committing a criminal offence with a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment. The most serious offenders (with custodial sentences of 30 months or more) have to notify for an indefinite period with currently no right of review. The shortest period is for 2 years (for those who have been cautioned).

As a result of a UK Supreme Court judgment of incompatibility with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the law has been changed, in the rest of the UK, to allow offenders who are subject to an indefinite period of notification under Part 2 of the 2003 Act to apply to have the requirements lifted. The Schedule inserted into the 2003 Act addresses the Supreme Court judgement by introducing a similar review mechanism in this jurisdiction for indefinite notification.

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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