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Justice (Sexual Offences and Trafficking Victims) Act (Northern Ireland) 2022

Abuse of Position of Trust

11.New provision amends the current abuse of position of trust legislation, contained in Part 3 of the Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008. Specifically, it extends the scope of the relevant offences (provided for at Articles 23 to 26) to include the non-statutory sector settings of sport and religion.

12.This means that those who hold a position of trust where they knowingly coach, teach, train, supervise, or instruct a child on a regular basis within the area of sport or religion (as defined in the provisions) and who abuse that position, would be liable for any of the relevant offences contained in Articles 23 to 26.

13.These are: sexual activity with a child; causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity; sexual activity in the presence of a child; causing a child to watch a sexual act.

14.A delegated power is also included so that categories additional to sport and religion can be added by secondary legislation where the need for further legal intervention is evidenced and required. Provision also requires the Department to annually review the areas of sport and religion to determine whether the delegated power contained should be exercised.

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