Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017

Number 2 of 2017



Updated to 3 May 2023

This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including the Patient Safety (Notifiable Incidents and Open Disclosure) Act 2023 (10/2023), enacted 2 May 2023, and all statutory instruments up to and including the Criminal Justice (Mutual Recognition of Custodial Sentences) Act 2023 (Commencement) Order 2023 (S.I. No. 213 of 2023), made 2 May 2023, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

Number 2 of 2017



Updated to 3 May 2023



Preliminary and General


1. Short title and commencement

2. Interpretation


Sexual Exploitation of Children

3. Obtaining, providing etc. a child for purpose of sexual exploitation

4. Invitation etc. to sexual touching

5. Sexual activity in presence of child

6. Causing child to watch sexual activity

7. Meeting child for purpose of sexual exploitation

8. Use of information and communication technology to facilitate sexual exploitation of child

9. Amendment of section 2 of Act of 1998

10. Amendment of section 3 of Act of 1998

11. Organising etc. child prostitution or production of child pornography

12. Producing, distributing, etc. child pornography

13. Participation of child in pornographic performance

14. Possession of child pornography

15. Amendment of section 1 of Act of 2006

16. Sexual act with child under 15 years of age

17. Sexual act with child under 17 years of age

18. Offence by person in authority

19. Amendment of section 8 of Act of 1990


Sexual Act with Protected Persons

20. Definitions

21. Sexual act with protected person

22. Offence against relevant person by person in authority

23. Prosecutions

24. Repeals


Purchase of Sexual Services

25. Amendment of Act of 1993

26. Amendment of section 5 of Act of 2008

27. Report on operation of Act



28. Incest by males

29. Exclusion of public from hearings of proceedings under Act of 1908

30. Anonymity of person charged with offence under Act of 1908 and person to whom offence relates

31. Provisions in relation to offences under section 30

32. Repeal


Criminal Evidence

33. Amendment of section 1 of Act of 1992

34. Amendment of section 2 of Act of 1992

35. Amendment of section 13 of Act of 1992

36. Amendment of Act of 1992

37. Amendment of section 16 of Act of 1992

38. Amendment of section 17 of Act of 1992 (Repealed)

39. Disclosure of third party records in certain trials

40. Amendment of section 28 of Civil Legal Aid Act 1995



41. Amendment of Sexual Offences (Jurisdiction) Act 1996

42. Jurisdiction

43. Proceedings relating to offences committed outside State

44. Double jeopardy



45. Exposure, offensive conduct of sexual nature

46. Harassment order

47. Effect of appeal from order

48. Amendment of Act of 1990

49. Amendment of section 249 of Children Act 2001

50. Amendment of Bail Act 1997

51. Amendment of Act of 2001

52. Amendment of Criminal Procedure Act 2010

53. Amendment of Criminal Justice (Withholding of Information on Offences against Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012

54. Amendment of Taxi Regulation Act 2013

55. Amendment of Children First Act 2015

56. Amendment of Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions and Certain Disclosures) Act 2016

57. Offences by bodies corporate

58. Commission of another offence specified in Schedule within specified period


Number 2 of 2017



Updated to 3 May 2023

An Act to give effect to Directive No. 2011/93/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 20111 on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA, for that purpose to amend certain enactments; to amend the Punishment of Incest Act 1908; to amend the Criminal Evidence Act 1992; to repeal certain provisions of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1993; to repeal the Criminal Law (Incest Proceedings) Act 1995; to amend the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2006; to provide for offences relating to sexual acts with protected persons and relating to payment for sexual activity with prostitutes, offensive conduct of a sexual nature and harassment of victims of sexual offences; and to provide for related matters.

[22nd February, 2017]

Be it enacted by the Oireachtas as follows: