Just like in life and society, there are many distinctions that need to be considered in the Sex Offenders Bill.
This was highlighted by Fiji Law Society rep Maddona Fong during submissions to the standing committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights yesterday.
Ms Fong gave an example of indecent assault under the crimes act.
“It is a summary offence with a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment,” she said.
“The issue is that indecent assault covers a vast area of offending.
“For example, if you touch a woman on her arm, it might be misrepresented as indecent assault, that sort of situation is minor compared to someone who has raped someone.
“You cannot say that someone that accidently touched somebody is in the same category as a person who has raped someone and to put them together and register them as sex offenders for life. This is what we are against.”
Emilly King during Fiji Law Society’s registration of Sex offenders Bill on April 6,2018.Photo:Simione Haravanua.
Ms Fong said there were many distinctions that needed to be considered and the bill didn’t need to be so broad to include everyone into this one category when the circumstances of each offence must be taken into account.
She said juvenile or teenage offenders who engaged in sexual activity, which is a normal activity these days, when caught and reported by parents, as per the bill , they would be registered as sex offenders.
Ms Fong said the committee might want to consider that issue too.
Fiji Law Society President Laurel Vaurasi during Fiji Law Society’s registration of Sex offenders Bill on April 6,2018.Photo:Simione Haravanua.