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Departmental Legislation

Volume 502: debated on Monday 7 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what criminal offences have been (a) abolished and (b) created by primary legislation sponsored by his Department since 1 May 2008. (303255)

The primary legislation made by the Northern Ireland Office since 1 May 2008 which abolished or created criminal offences is as follows:

The Sexual Offences (NI) Order 2008, implemented in February 2009, reformed the body of law on sexual offences. The order contains all criminal offences in relation to sexual offending behaviour. Articles 81 and 83 and schedules 1 and 3 to the order list the old offences which were repealed and article 5 abolished the common law offence of rape.

The Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2008, made in May 2008, created nine new offences. Articles 52, 53, 65(6) and 91(4) contain four new driving-related offences; article 68 created one new offence in relation to alcohol consumption in designated public places; and the remaining offences relate to prison security. Article 71, a single offence of assisting or permitting a person to escape from lawful custody has replaced the separate offences of rescuing, or assisting or permitting the escape of, a person sentenced to death or for life, and rescuing or assisting or permitting the escape of other prisoners, formerly in sections 29 and 30 of the Prison Act (NI) 1953. Articles 77 and 78 create offences in relation to conveying articles into or out of prison. These replace the offences of conveying spirits or alcohol or other articles into prison (formerly in sections 34 and 35 of the Prison (NI) Act) with a more extensive prohibition. No offences were repealed by the order.