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Key Inquiry recommendation on 'positions of trust' included in new bill

9 March 2021

A key Inquiry recommendation to ban clergy from sexual relationships with 16-18 year olds in their care could be implemented as part of a new bill.

New legislation planned for England and Wales would mean faith leaders and sports coaches are defined as ‘positions of trust’ alongside teachers and doctors.

It would therefore make sexual relationships between people in these positions and those they supervise illegal.

The Inquiry recommended this as an amendment to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in its report on the Diocese of Chichester and Peter Ball in May 2019.

In May 2020, an official from the Ministry of Justice was asked to provide an update on the recommendation while giving evidence to the Inquiry in the public hearing into Child Protection in Religious Organisations and Settings. He said the Ministry was still considering several issues in relation to the proposed amendment at that time.

A full list of the Inquiry’s recommendations and responses is available here.

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