Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017

46.

Harassment order

46. (1) On application made in accordance with this section, a court may—

(a) when imposing a sentence of imprisonment on a person convicted of a sexual offence (referred to in this section as the “respondent”), or

(b) at any time before the date of the respondent’s release from prison,

in addition to whatever sentence it may impose or, as the case may be, has been imposed on the person, make an order (in this section referred to as a “harassment order”) under this section.

(2) An application for a harassment order may be made by a member of the Garda Síochána not below the rank of Inspector, by a probation officer or by the victim of the offence (referred to in this section as the “applicant”) and shall be made on notice to the respondent.

(3) An application under subsection (1)(b) shall be made to the District Court.

(4) A court may only make a harassment order under subsection (1) where it is satisfied that the respondent has, without reasonable excuse, behaved in such a way as to give rise to a well-founded fear that the victim may be subjected to—

(a) harassment by the respondent, or

(b) unwanted contact from the respondent,

such as would cause him or her fear, distress or alarm or amount to intimidation and it is in the interests of justice to do so.

(5) An order under this section may prohibit the respondent from—

(a) communicating by any means with the victim, and

(b) approaching within such distance as the court shall specify of the place of residence or employment of the victim or any other place frequented by the victim as the court deems appropriate,

and shall be subject to such terms and conditions as the court may specify.

(6) A harassment order may contain only such prohibitions, referred to in subsection (5), on the respondent as the court considers necessary for the purpose of protecting the victim from harassment by the respondent.

(7) A harassment order shall cease to have effect on—

(a) the date of the respondent’s release from prison,

(b) such earlier date as the court may specify, or

(c) the expiration of such period not exceeding 12 months from the date of the respondent’s release as the court may specify.

(8) Where an order under this section is in force, the court, on application to it in that behalf at any time by either the applicant for the order or the respondent in respect of whom that order was made, may, having regard to the matters set out in subsection (4), discharge or, as may be appropriate, vary the order.

(9) A harassment order shall take effect on notification of its making being given to the respondent.

(10) Oral communication to the respondent by or on behalf of the applicant of the fact that a harassment order has been made, together with production of a copy of the order, shall, without prejudice to the sufficiency of any other form of notification, be taken to be sufficient notification to the respondent of the making of the order.

(11) If the respondent is present at the sitting of the court at which the harassment order is made, he or she shall be taken for the purposes of subsection (9) to have been notified of its making.

(12) An order varying a harassment order shall take effect on notification of its making being given to the respondent and for this purpose subsections (10) and (11) shall apply with any necessary modifications.

(13) A person who, without reasonable excuse, contravenes a harassment order shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a class B fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or both.

(14) Proceedings for a harassment order shall be civil proceedings and shall be heard otherwise than in public.

(15) A harassment order shall cease to have effect if the conviction concerned is quashed on appeal or otherwise.

(16) The jurisdiction conferred on the District Court under subsection (3) may be exercised by a judge of the District Court for the time being assigned to the District Court district in which the victim resides at the time the application is made.

(17) In this section—

“date of the respondent’s release from prison” means the date on which the sentence of imprisonment imposed on him or her in respect of the offence concerned expires or, as the case may be, his or her remission from the sentence begins;

“probation officer” means a person appointed by the Minister for Justice and Equality to be a probation officer;

“sentence of imprisonment” includes detention in Saint Patrick’s Institution or in a children detention school but does not include a sentence of imprisonment or detention imposed on the person the execution of the whole of which is suspended;

“sexual offence” shall be construed in accordance with section 3 of the Act of 2001.