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House passes sexual offences bill

Published:Wednesday | April 1, 2009 | 8:54 AM

The Sexual Offences Act 2009 has been passed in the House of Representatives.

The Act is an amalgamation of various laws relating to rape, incest and other sexual offences.

It will repeal the Incest (Punishment) Act and several provisions of the Offences Against the Person Act.

The Bill also provides for the establishment of a Sex Offenders Registry, which will maintain a register of sex offenders.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding told Parliamentarians yesterday that the Bill will be introduced in the Senate on Friday by Justice Minister and Attorney General, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne.

The prime minister had previously sought leave of Parliament to withdraw the Bill, because of the significant number of amendments that had to be made.

However, he said after discussions with Opposition Leader, Portia Simpson Miller, he decided to have it debated in the House yesterday.

The introduction of the bill in the senate on Friday will allow for it to be debated immediately after the new session of Parliament convenes next week.