Views sought on child protection

May 16, 2019

The Law Reform Commission today launched a public consultation to seek views on the proposed reform of the law relating to the criminal liability of people who fail to protect children or vulnerable adults from death or serious harm.


A sub-committee of the commission recommended introducing a new offence of "failure to protect a child or vulnerable person where the child's or vulnerable person's death or serious harm results from an unlawful act or neglect".


The proposed offence would impose criminal liability on parents or carers of children under the age of 16 or vulnerable people over 16 years of age who fail to take steps to protect the victims from death or serious harm if they were aware of such risk.


The proposed offence carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail.


The sub-committee emphasised its proposal is not targeted at accidents, but to ensure that children and vulnerable adults are adequately protected.


People can submit views by August 16 via mail, fax or email.


Click here for the consultation paper.

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