Friday, 18 February 2011

Whats the Big Deal About Allowing Sex Offenders to Appeal?

The press is full of how nasty rapists and paedophiles will be allowed to appeal against their being on the sex offender's register and yes, I can understand that the option to be removed for serious and repeated sex offenders is a hot political potato.

But what about those who have been put on the register for minor sex offences?

Should the teenager who sends or receives naked pictures to their teenage partner be condemned to sign the register for life?

Should the man prosecuted for having a stash of hardcore porn be condemned likewise?

As with all things, there is a broad spectrum of people on the sex offender's register, some are a menace to society, some quite clearly not. Some should stay on the register for life (and really should face tougher sanctions), some should quite clearly not.

As in other areas, its the heavy hand of the Police, CPS and the criminal justice system that has brought about injustices and has now led to the ruling by the ECHR. Thats the problem with ill-thought-out "one-size-fits-all" legislation, literally a legal sledgehammer to crack the toughest of nuts: there is no proportionality.

Hopefully this will bring some common sense into a legal framework that has more to do with tabloid headlines than justice.

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