Mon, Oct 21, 2013, 11:39: First published: Sat, Oct 19, 2013, 01:00
Paedophilia [sic]: is name and shame the best solution?
"Proposed legislation would open up the sex-offenders register. But experience in the US and the UK, which have enacted Megan’s Law and Sarah’s Law [sic], suggests doing so may bring other problems and do little to curb child sexual abuse
Deterrent?: under Megan’s Law, US towns can put up signs about sex offenders.
"In Germany paedophiles can volunteer to be castrated. In the US their faces and personal details are disclosed on official websites, and towns signpost “pedophile free zones” [sic]. Protecting children from “stranger danger” has never been as political and, some argue, hysterical.
Here, new legislation on the existing sex-offenders register will be introduced by the end of the month, according to Minister for Justice Alan Shatter. But he hasn’t yet said if he supports the principle behind the Child Sex Offenders (Information and Monitoring) Bill, legislation proposed by the Independent TD Denis Naughten, which would give parents, schools and clubs access to the register. (What currently exists is a list of convicted sex offenders, people given certificates, either by the courts or by the Irish Prison Service, that require them to tell the Garda where they live. It is not officially called a sex-offenders register, but it is informally referred to as such.)"
Tuesday, 22 October 2013
Ireland, Sarah's Law and "Confused.Com"
"The only difference is, according to the response from Barnardos, is that only certain people will be able to request disclosure, these being parents, guardians, school principles and club leaders."
Updated: 16:08, Tuesday, 29 October 2013
Warnings over sex offender monitoring proposals
"The Irish Penal Reform Trust is warning that convicted sex offenders could go into hiding to avoid garda monitoring if their backgrounds are revealed under a proposed new law.
IPRT Executive Director Liam Herrick was responding to proposed legislation similar to "Sarah's Law" in the UK.
The proposed law would allow gardaí provide "relevant and appropriate" information on sex offenders to parents, schools and clubs responsible for children and vulnerable adults.
Mr Herrick said that legislation in the US, which identified the location of sex offenders, had led some offenders to deliberately avoid and evade scrutiny."
Oct 17, 2013
Disclosure of Information about Sex Offenders
"While the interest in and support for information disclosure is understandable, proposals such as these preserve many common misconceptions surrounding sex offenders. Much public angst derives from a perception that all sex offenders are prone to reoffending, despite empirical evidence demonstrating that the rate of re-offending for sex offenders is lower than for most offenders and recognition that not all sex offenders pose the same level of risk. Thus targeting all sex offenders as a group is not necessarily a proportionate response, considering that the perceived risk is confined to a minority."
"Finally, as the case of X (South Yorkshire) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and Chief Constable of Yorkshire  EWHC 2954 demonstrates, it would be prudent for any future proposals to incorporate an opportunity for the person, about whom disclosure might be made, to be asked if he wishes to make representations. As the Court in X (South Yorkshire) noted, the absence of this opportunity means the decision maker might not have all the information necessary to conduct the balancing exercise which he is required to perform justly and fairly.
Public safety is undoubtedly an important concern, but the ‘need to know’ must to some extent be balanced with individual rights and with the ability of individuals to become reintegrated into society, which will ultimately be in the public interest. Any attempts to introduce broader public access to information should be resisted, while accepting that in some circumstances controlled disclosure may be the best way of providing adequate protection."