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Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2013

Section 3: Ending notification requirement for acts which are no longer offences

This section makes a consequential adjustment to section 93 of and Schedule 4 to the 2003 Act in its application to Northern Ireland, to amend the scope of the procedure for ending notification for abolished homosexual offences.

Section 93 of and Schedule 4 to the 2003 Act currently provide a procedure which allows certain offenders to make administrative application to have their notification requirements lifted for offences which have been abolished since the original notification requirement was attached. The only applicable offences in the 2003 Act are homosexual offences.

The Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 changed the age at which the law in Northern Ireland recognised consent to sexual activity from 17 to 16, both heterosexual and homosexual. This change to the ‘age of consent’ means a consequential amendment is required to Schedule 4 to the 2003 Act, as it applies in Northern Ireland, to allow for applications for ending notification requirements in respect of consensual offences where the other party had been 16 instead of 17, or where the offender held an honest belief, established in court, that the other party was 16. The abolished offences also now include unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under 17 where the other party to the act was 16.

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