Domestic Violence

Oral Answers to Questions — Lord Chancellor's Department – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 6th November 2001.

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Photo of Margaret Moran Margaret Moran Labour, Luton South 2:30 pm, 6th November 2001

What plans she has to introduce third party orders for cases of domestic violence.

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton Parliamentary Secretary (Lord Chancellor's Department)

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising this important issue. The Government are concerned to ensure that the range of remedies available to survivors of domestic violence provides sufficient support and protection. I am therefore pleased to be able to announce that we will be conducting a short research project fully to assess the implications and benefits of introducing third party orders, as provided under section 60 of the Family Law Act 1996. We will work closely with stakeholders and interest groups to ensure that the project addresses the diverse needs of all who need to use the court system.

Photo of Margaret Moran Margaret Moran Labour, Luton South

I thank my hon. Friend for that helpful reply. When she is taking evidence for the research, which will be most welcome, will she look into work undertaken in New South Wales, in Australia, where third party orders are used, police prosecute on behalf of victims of domestic violence, satisfaction levels are over 77 per cent. and the safety of victims has been vastly enhanced? Will she take that on board so that we can quickly enact section 60 of the Family Law Act to provide greater protection for victims of domestic violence?

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton Parliamentary Secretary (Lord Chancellor's Department)

I pay tribute to the work that my hon. Friend has carried out as chairman of the all-party group on domestic violence. I know that she recently made an extremely useful visit to Australia, and I look forward to receiving her assessment of how the third party scheme works there.