North Down MLA Alex Easton has said the introduction of 'Helen's Law' to Northern Ireland would be a step forward for victims.
He was speaking ahead of a debate in the Assembly this afternoon brought by the DUP MLA and party colleague Paul Givan.
The motion welcomes the progression through Parliament of the Prisoners (Disclosure of Information about Victims) Bill which is also known as Helen's Law. It calls calls on the Justice Minister to introduce equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland to ensure prisoners convicted of murder and child sex offences are not eligible for release until they disclose the location of their victims' remains or the identity of their victims.
Alex Easton said, "A few weeks ago, alongside the First Minister I met with the families of Lisa Dorrian and Charlotte Murray who have been campaigning to see such legislation introduced in Northern Ireland. Both these families have suffered an unimaginable loss, and in the case of Charlotte, her killer still refuses to reveal the location of her remains.
Such actions mean that even when a killer has been prosecuted and convicted they can still effectively exert control over their victim. During the 'lockdown' earlier this year we gained a fresh appreciation of just how important it is for many families to visit the grave of a loved one, and the pain that even such a temporary restriction caused. This is multiplied immeasurably when it has been caused through the refusal by a killer to reveal the location of their loved ones remains.
The introduction of Helens Law would be a huge step forward for victims here, both those who have lost a loved one at the hands of someone else. It would also be a major step forward in offering help and assistance to the victims of child sex offenders if the victims of their crimes were revealed.
I know the vast majority of the public support such a move, and Northern Ireland should match those other parts of the UK and the extra tool it offers to deliver true justice for the victims of such horrendous crimes."