Public Consultation Submission – HKLRC Review of Sexual Offences Sentencing

Public Consultation Submission – HKLRC Review of Sexual Offences Sentencing

Public Consultation Submission – HKLRC Review of Sexual Offences Sentencing 758 1078 TALK Hong Kong

The Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong has issued its preliminary proposals for the reform of sentencing laws for sexual offences.  This is the final stage in their multi-year project covering many aspects of the legal definitions with regard to sexual assault and related issues which will soon be submitted to LegCo for consideration.

TALK Hong Kong has now submitted our response. We agree with many of the proposals set forth in the HKLRC’s review and applaud their in-depth work on issues related to sexual offences.  In this submission we focus on those areas that we believe should be altered with a particular focus on crimes against children.  We submit these views based on our own lived experience of childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault and hope that these first hand insights will be useful to the Commission.


Executive Summary

Submission 1 on “Penalties for offences proposed in the overall review of substantive sexual offences”

New offences regarding children under 13 and under 16

R1: There be no division of sexual offences against a child into offences committed against a younger child (13 years of age and younger) and older child (under 16 years of age).

R2: The definition of what constitutes a “child” for the purposes of demarcating sexual offences against a child should be by reference to the legal definition of infancy or minority (i.e., not yet attained the age of 18 years) under the law of Hong Kong and not by reference to the age of consent (i.e., under the age of 16 years).

R3: The maximum penalty for all sexual offences against a child be the maximum sentence currently recommended for younger children, e.g., there be a single offence of sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16 with the maximum penalty set at life imprisonment.

Penalties

R4: That the Sub-Committee consider implementing mandatory minimum sentences for sexual offences, and in particular, with respect to sexual offences against a child.


Submission 2 on “Treatment and rehabilitation of sex offenders”

Reoffending rates of sex offenders

R5: Prior to any decision based on the reoffending rates cited, that this matter be the subject of further independent research and a specific sub-committee.

Reliability of data and opinions set out in the Consultation Report

R5: Prior to any decision based on the reoffending rates cited, that this matter be the subject of further independent research and a specific sub-committee.

Post-release Stage: Provision of specialised post-release supervision to discharged sex offenders

R6: Prior to any decision being made by the Sub-Committee regarding specialised post-release supervision, that this matter be the subject of further independent research.


Submission 3 on “Review of Sexual Conviction Record Check Scheme”

R7: The SCRC should be expanded to include all definitions of workers including self-employed, volunteers, temporary or contract workers, and both current and prospective workers.

R8: The SCRC scheme should be mandatory.

R9: That spent convictions should be disclosed as part of the SCRC.


Addenda

Victim Impact Statement – Taura Edgar
Victim Impact Statement – Beth Junell
Victim Impact Statement – Jill Marshall

 

Taura Edgar
Founder – TALK Hong Kong


Thanks

This document was produced with tireless help of:

  • Beth Junell – Leader, Risk Advisory & Investigations Asia, FTI Consulting
  • Darcy Lynn Davison-Roberts – Lecturer, The University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law
  • Jacky Chun Ki Yeung – Lecturer, The University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Law

TALK Hong Kong thanks you for your insights and experience and for taking part in this meaningful work.

Hong Kong Sexual Offence Sentencing Reform: TALK’s Draft Recommendations
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Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A Guide and Map for Recovering from Childhood Trauma
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