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Meerveld amendment to Sexual Offences law

 

On Wednesday 16 February, States members are due to approve an ordinance that will bring The Sexual Offences (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2020 into force.

Although this is the final stage of the legislative process, Deputy Carl Meerveld and Deputy John Dyke have placed an amendment. They want to delay the implementation of a paragraph of the legislation that Deputy Gavin St Pier and Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez added by amendment in a previous debate in June 2020.

Paragraph 4 (2)(g) requires the defence to produce evidence of consent in sexual offences cases where the alleged victim could have been incapable of giving consent because of voluntary consumption of drugs or alcohol. The previous draft of the law only referred to involuntary consumption of drugs eg Rohypnol.

 

 

Deputy Meerveld believes the voluntary consumption paragraph goes against the principle of “innocent until proven guilty”. Deputy St Pier says it “does away with victim blaming”.

To better understand the arguments for and against the Meerveld/Dyke amendment, read the Hansard report from the June 2020 debate of the original St Pier/De Sausmarez amendment (debate starts on page 20) and the media coverage below.

To better understand the reasons why the new Sexual Offences legislation is being introduced in the first place, read the original Home Affairs policy paper debated in July 2011 (page 1089).

Media coverage

Radio interviews with Deputy Carl Meerveld (1:06:30) and Deputy Gavin St Pier (2:06:55) (BBC Guernsey, 9 Feb)

Deputies want to delay part of new sex offences law (Bailiwick Express, 9 Feb)
Guernsey sexual offence law consent update may be delayed (BBC Guernsey online, 9 Feb)
Sexual offences law goes ‘step too far’, says deputy (Guernsey Press, 10 Feb)
“Misunderstanding” at heart of sexual offences amendment debate (Bailiwick Express, 11 Feb)
“Alleged statistics not meaningful” to States’ sex law debate (Bailiwick Express, 11 Feb)
A question of consent – opinion piece by Gavin St Pier (Guernsey Press, 15 Feb)

Quick links

The Sexual Offences (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2020 (Commencement) Ordinance, 2022
The Sexual Offences (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2020
Meerveld/Dyke amendment (Feb 22)
St Pier/De Saumarez amendment (Jul 20)
Hansard report from the June 2020 debate of the original St Pier/De Sausmarez amendment (debate starts on page 20)
Original Home Affairs policy paper debated in July 2011 (page 1089).

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Guernsey’s iconic women of the future?

Thank you for nominating a young woman or girl for our future iconic Guernsey women campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Nominations close on Sunday 6 March at 17.00.

Please fill in the details below.

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Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Are you from South Africa? Please email hello@womeninpubliclife.gg if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

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The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 

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Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: data.ipu.org) 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

Are you from New Zealand? You may be interested in joining the ANZACs in Guernsey Facebook group

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