The consultation period for proposed new anti-stalking legislation has been extended.
The Law Reform Commission has put forward a draft Stalking Bill which would empower courts to make protection orders against stalkers.
It has also drafted an amendment to the Penal Code broadening the definition of stalking.
It has been seeking public feedback on those bills since January, with an initial deadline of March 21. That has now been extended to May 5 to give people a further chance to comment.
The commission said in a statement that the bills seek to criminalize conduct including making unwelcome visits, silent telephone calls and sending unwanted gifts or emails. The legislation would also empower courts to make protection orders against stalkers.
The consultation paper notes that stalking affects a wide variety of people, mostly women, and can cause genuine fear and psychological distress.
“Ultimately, the objective of the legislation is to reinforce that actions which constitute stalking may cause psychiatric and psychological harm and may result in serious danger to the person affected.
“It is therefore in the best interests of our society to take immediate and effective action when cases of stalking arise,” said the commission in a statement.