The Criminal Justice and Miscellaneous Provisions Prisons Act commences today.
This legislation has been enacted in order to deal more comprehensively with domestic violence and assault matters.
In particular, assault causing harm which used to carry a maximum sentence of five years has doubled to ten years.
There is now a stand-alone offence for stalking (which previously came under harassment).
A person convicted of stalking can face up to a maximum of ten years in prison.
This is also in a similar line to new offences of non-fatal strangulation or suffocation.
The legislation has also increased the penalty for any assault on a Garda member while on duty to 12 years.