Prostitution policy: Nordic Model

Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 was enacted on 22 February 2017. The Act will enhance and update laws to combat the sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, including new offences relating to child sexual grooming and new and strengthened offences to tackle child pornography. The Act also criminalises the purchase of sexual services, introduces new provisions regarding the giving of evidence by victims in sexual offence trials and introduces a new offence addressing public indecency. Other provisions include maintaining the age of consent to sexual activity at 17 years of age and for a new “proximity of age” defence as well as a statutory statement of the law as regards consent to sexual acts.

The Implementation of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017, Part IV – An Interim Review

By Dr Geoffrey Shannon, Solicitor
This report was written to consider implementation of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017. Following its enactment, the Government announced that a review of Part IV which relates to prostitution was to be carried out within three years.

The review is to include:
(a) Information as to the number of arrests and convictions in respect of offences under section 7A of the Act of 1993 during the period from the commencement of that section;
(b) An assessment of the impact of the operation of that section on the safety and well-being of persons who engage in sexual activity for payment.

It is intended that this interim report might inform the review of the legislation at a mid-way point. The report is authored by Dr Geoffrey Shannon and informed by members of the High Level Working Group, constituted to monitor and support implementation of the Act.
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