Irish Law and Image-Based Sexual Abuse – Reform Recommendations

Ireland has been considering reforming laws on image-based sexual abuse for the past few years, with current proposals before the Oireachtas, the Irish parliament. My article with Prof Erika Rackley on the need to reform Irish law on image-based sexual abuse is available from the Irish Probation Journal. The article suggests that the recommendations of the Irish Law Reform Commission are a positive start to debates, though any new law needs to focus on these harms as forms of sexual abuse, not just as privacy issues. Available here.

dublin-lecture-oct-2016-2This focus on Irish law developed from the plenary lecture I gave on Friday 7th October 2016 at the annual conference of the Irish Association of Criminal Justice Research & Development conference. The theme of the conference was Cybercrime and my lecture welcomed the recently published Irish Law Commission report on Harmful Communications & Digital Safety. Drawing on my research with Erika Rackley, the lecture challenged the report’s claim that non-consensual sharing of private, sexual images was not a form of ‘sexual offence’. Our work suggests that the terminology of ‘image-based sexual abuse’ better captures the nature and harms of this form of abuse: terminology matters as it shapes our legislative, political and educational responses.

For more on the concept of image-based sexual abuse: see research briefing:

My presentation is available here:dublin-mcglynn-final-october-2016-cleanpdf