Michael Staines
Michael Staines

15.41 3 Dec 2020


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The Minister for Justice aims to change the law to allow children who are victims of violent crimes to be named in the media “as soon as possible.”

The Appeals Court recently ruled that, under the Children’s Act, a child who is killed cannot be named once someone is charged with killing them.

The ruling means that accused cannot be named if it could lead to the child being identified.

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It also prevents adults who were abused as children from waiving their right to anonymity.

Children's Act

Speaking this afternoon, the Justice Minister Helen McEntee said she now intend to change the act “as quickly as possible.”

She said the ruling was preventing people who were victims of violent and sexual crimes as children from telling their stories.

“It is no impacting on their ability to come forward, say who they are and to potentially have that right to do so and to maybe encourage others to come forward,” she said.

“So, I am working and looking within my department to see how we can do it as quickly as possible, taking into account the fact that this, we are already seeing, is having a huge impact on various different issues.”

Legislation

She said she expects to bring forward the new legislation by January at the latest.

“I would like to bring the heads of bills or proposal to Government in the next few weeks,” she said.

“It might not be possible as we have only two weeks left in the Dáil but if it is not before Christmas, it will certainly be in January.”

Independent Senator Michael McDowell and Fianna Fáil TD Jim O’Callaghan have both already published proposed amendments to the Children’s Act to address the issue.


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Appeals Court Children's Act Helen McEntee Justice Minister McEntee Minister For Justice

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