As the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person (Amendment ) (Stalking ) Bill 2021 has passed through the Seanad, Fianna Fáil Senator Lisa Chambers is calling on members of the Dáil to pass the bill without delay. Senator Chambers brought forward the legislation in July 2021 that sought to introduce an offence of Stalking into Irish law.
The bill seeks to provide for a specific offence of stalking characterised by repeated, unwanted behaviour that occurs as a result of fixation or obsession and causes alarm, distress or harm to the victim and to provide for related matters.
Senator Chambers commented: "This is a really important step in getting this law on the statue books. My Bill to make Stalking a standalone crime has passed all stages in the Seanad, the first Private Members Bill to do so this term. It is now over to the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, to bring this Bill before the Dáil without delay. The sooner this new law comes into effect, the safer our streets will be and the better chance a victim has of getting justice. I very much welcome that the Department of Justice have changed their minds on this Bill and now agree that the law needs to be changed. I look forward to working with the Minister and her team in bringing this Bill to a conclusion.
|In other jurisdictions where similar laws have been enacted, such as Scotland, England and Wales, there has been a significant increase in reporting of Stalking as a crime and a significant increase in prosecutions. Ireland can look forward to seeing a similar impact here once we pass this legislation. The Northern Ireland Justice Minister, Naomi Long, is bringing through similar legislation in the North and it would be important that we move in tandem on the island and ensure the legal system pertaining to Stalking is the same across the island.
"I want to thanks Una Ring and Eve McDowell, the co-founders of Stalking Ireland, for their immense work in campaigning on this issue and working with me to draft this Bill from the perspective of the victim."