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Keywords:

  • sex offenders;
  • sex offender registration;
  • human rights;
  • public protection;
  • risk assessment

Abstract: The sex offender register requires offenders to notify the police every time their circumstances change. This notification requirement continues for time periods dependent on the severity of sentence received; some offenders are subject to a lifetime's registration. This article considers the basis of these time periods and the necessity of introducing a form of appeal to allow revision or suspension of the registration requirement for people unlikely to reoffend. Without such a form of judicial oversight the register could just become a meaningless ritual for many low-risk offenders who could be in danger of silting up the register and distracting from work with high-risk offenders.