Ratifying the Istanbul Convention is a Government priority and is included in the Programme for Government as a significant legal instrument in the fight against domestic and sexual violence.
At the time of signing of the Istanbul Convention, the Government approved an Action Plan to enable Ireland to ratify the Convention. The Action Plan contained 18 different administrative and legislative actions required by the Istanbul Convention. Most of the legislative requirements were met in the Domestic Violence Act 2018, the Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 and the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017.
The Criminal Law (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction) Bill 2018 is the final legislative action to be enacted to allow for ratification. This legislation is required to establish extraterritorial jurisdiction over Convention offences committed abroad by Irish citizens and residents.
On 30 January 2019, the Criminal Law (Extraterritorial Bill) 2018 completed all stages in the Seanad. The Bill will now progress to second stage in the Dáil on Tuesday 12 February. It is expected that the Bill will be enacted in quarter one, 2019.
This is a very short but important Bill, that once enacted, will allow Ireland to ratify the Istanbul Convention shortly thereafter.