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Sentencing and Related Matters in the Review of Sexual Offences
(HKLRC Consultation Paper)

On 12 November 2020, the Review of Sexual Offences Sub-committee of the Law Reform Commission (“Sub-committee”) published a consultation paper making preliminary proposals for the reform of law in relation to sentencing and related matters in the review of sexual offences.

This consultation paper is the fourth and final part of the overall review of substantive sexual offences. It covers a review of the penalties for offences proposed in the report on Review of Substantive Sexual Offences (“Report”); examines ways to reform and improve treatment and rehabilitation of sex offenders in Hong Kong; and reviews the Sexual Conviction Record Check Scheme (“SCRC Scheme”) since it has come into operation in December 2011 as an administrative scheme.

The Sub-committee has considered the legislation and relevant practices in Hong Kong, and compared them with corresponding legislation and practices in a number of overseas jurisdictions such as Australia, Canada, and England and Wales for a comprehensive examination of the issues involved in the proposed law reform.

The main recommendations contained in the consultation paper are:

(i) for the offences recommended in the Report, the current penalties for the existing offences of rape and incest should continue to apply to the recommended offences of sexual penetration without consent and incest; and the penalties for the new offences proposed are to be set by reference to the penalties for the corresponding offences in the respective overseas jurisdictions with suitable adjustments;

(ii) the current specialised treatment and rehabilitation programs for sex offenders available on a voluntary basis at the Correctional Services Department should be maintained;

(iii) the Government is recommended to review and consider the introduction of an incentive scheme for the sex offenders in the prison institutions for increasing motivation for treatment and behavioural change;

(iv) the provision of specialised post-release supervision to discharged sex offenders under the existing statutory schemes administered by the Post-Release Supervision Board and the Long-term Prison Sentences Review Board should be maintained;

(v) the current SCRC Scheme should be extended to cover all existing employees, self-employed persons, and volunteers; and

(vi) the Government should extend the SCRC Scheme to its fullest and evaluate the need to make it a mandatory scheme at an appropriate time.

The recommendations in the consultation paper are intended to facilitate discussion and do not necessarily represent the Sub-committee’s final conclusions.

The Sub-committee would welcome views, comments and suggestions on any issues discussed in the consultation paper. The consultation period will end on 11 February 2021.

Press Release (PDF) (MS Word)
Executive Summary (PDF) (MS Word)
Consultation Paper (PDF) (MS Word)

Important Notices