Clause 5 - Penalties for offences

Female Genital Mutilation Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:45 pm on 25 June 2003.

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The clause strengthens section 1(2)(a) of the 1985 Act by increasing the maximum penalty on conviction on indictment from five years' to 14 years' imprisonment. It re-enacts section 1(2)(b) of the 1985 Act, which provides that the maximum penalty on summary conviction is a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or both.

Other than life imprisonment, 14 years is the highest sentence that can be imposed and reflects how serious we think the offence of FGM is. Increasing the

maximum penalty will send a powerful message about the unacceptability of FGM and will strengthen the deterrent value of the law.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 5 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 6 to 8 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Bill to be reported, without amendment.

Committee rose at Three o'clock.