Seanad debates

Friday, 18 December 2020

Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017: Committee and Remaining Stages


10:00 am

Mary Seery Kearney (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

Regarding the Minister of State's reply, I believe that the word "and" between section 3(1)(a) and section 3(1)(b) neutralises the strict liability potential that could have had. Inextricably linking the "recording, distributing or publishing" of an intimate image with the serious interference with another's person's peace, again, still gives a reason for no responsibility. Concerning a person holding an intimate image or seeking to record an intimate image of another person, why, to try to understand that mindset, would a person want to record an image of another person? In respect of distributing or publishing the image, there should be a full stop after consent. Once it has been done without the person's consent, that in itself should be sufficient. To have that as the lesser offence, therefore, would have been sufficient.I concur with Senator Ruane's view on that bar of "seriously", and that people have to have privacy and should not have to be caused alarm, distress or harm. There should be a level of ethic in our law that states that it is not okay to record an intimate image of a person without the person's consent. It should not go beyond that. I think this is great legislation and I am delighted it is happening, but I believe it does not go far enough in that respect.


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