26 January 2018
A new Sexual Offences (Jersey) Law has been approved by the Home Affairs Minister for debate in the States Assembly.
The purpose of the draft law is to strengthen legal protections and to combine most of the sexual offences in Jersey’s legislation into one single area.
Significant consideration has been given to the definitions and importance of “consent” and “reasonable belief”, offences against children, prostitution (replacing some old legislation and adding new provisions) and creating new offences around Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Although there have been piecemeal changes made to Jersey’s sexual offences law over time, it has not been the subject of an overarching review to ensure that, as a whole, it meets the needs of victims of crime and provides the police and prosecutors with the legislation they need to fulfil the expectations of modern Jersey society.
Minister for Home Affairs, Deputy Kristina Moore, said: “One of the priorities for my term in office has been to ensure that we protect our citizens from domestic and sexual violence and abuse. The new sexual offences law sets out to provide protection to individuals of all genders, and, most particularly, aims to protect children and vulnerable adults in Jersey from abuse and exploitation and ensures that abusers can be appropriately punished”.
“I am very pleased to be bringing this law to the States. It marks a big change in how we deal with sexual offences and has the potential to have a significant effect on the lives of people who are unfortunate enough to be at the receiving end of some of the most despicable behaviour” said Deputy Moore.
Extensive consultation has taken place with the States of Jersey Police, the Judiciary, the Attorney General and Law Officers Department during the drafting of the new Law.
Other interested parties, including charities and those working within the field of sexual health, also had the opportunity to comment on proposed changes and identify any particular concerns.
A full public consultation was conducted between the 1 September 2017 and the 13 October 2017.
2017 12 05 Draft response to consultation SO law (003) NJF.pdf