New bill set to allow restraining orders against stalkers without prosecution

Courts will now be able to issue civil restraining orders against stalkers as part of a new Bill from the Minister for Justice.

The orders will not require a criminal prosecution and will be easier for victims to obtain.

The wide ranging Bill will also increase the maximum sentence for assault causing harm from five years to ten years, and allow life sentences for conspiracy to murder.

It will also make stalking and non-fatal strangulation standalone offences, and expand the existing harassment offence.

Minister Helen McEntee says the Bill is a key aspect is reforming criminal law in the area of domestic violence:

“We will introduce for the first time orders that do not require a criminal prosecution, so they are easier for victims to obtain. They essentially allow for earlier intervention when it comes to stalking but they will also allow for an order to be made against someone who is not just in a close relationship with that person, as is currently the case with domestic violence orders.”

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