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New law criminalises offences committed by Irish abroad

29 Apr 2019 / legislation Print

Law criminalises offences committed by Irish abroad

A new law provides that serious offences committed in other jurisdictions may now be prosecuted in Ireland.

The Criminal Law (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction) Act covers a range of offences, including murder, manslaughter, rape, sexual assault, assault, and threats to kill or cause serious harm.

Under the new Act, individuals who commit particular offences abroad will be liable to be prosecuted under Irish law. These include offences under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 and the Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990, as well as murder and manslaughter. 

 Offences for the purposes of the Act include:

  • assault causing harm,
  • assault causing serious harm,
  • threats to kill or cause serious harm,
  • coercion,
  • harassment,
  • sexual assault,
  • aggravated sexual assault,
  • rape, or 
  • rape under section 4 of the Criminal Law (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990,
  • murder,
  • manslaughter.

Justice minister Charlie Flanagan said the new law gives effect to certain Council of Europe provisions on combating violence against women and domestic violence.

The Istanbul Convention was signed by Ireland in November 2015, but ratified last month.

Minister Flanagan said “The commencement of this Act signifies that Ireland is committed to our international obligations and that we are steadfast in our efforts to combat violence against women and all forms of domestic violence.

These new provisions can now be used to tackle violent crimes committed by Irish citizens and residents abroad.”

The Minister added: “This Act, in conjunction with other pieces of legislation such as the recently enacted Domestic Violence Act 2018, the Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 and the Victims of Crime Act 2017, enable Ireland to effectively tackle these serious crimes at home and abroad.”

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