Amendment 51

Domestic Abuse Bill - Report (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords at 10:08 pm on 10th March 2021.

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Votes in this debate

Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws:

Moved by Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws

51: After Clause 68, insert the following new Clause—“Defence for victims of domestic abuse who commit an offence(1) A person is not guilty of an offence if—(a) the person is aged 18 or over when the person does the act which constitutes the offence,(b) the person does that act because the person is compelled to do it,(c) the compulsion is attributable to their being a victim of domestic abuse, and(d) a reasonable person in the same situation as the person and having the person’s relevant characteristics would have no realistic alternative to doing that act.(2) A person may be compelled to do something by another person or by the person’s circumstances.(3) Compulsion is attributable to domestic abuse only if—(a) it is, or is part of, conduct which constitutes domestic abuse as defined in sections 1 and 2 of this Act, including but not limited to conduct which constitutes the offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship as defined in section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 (controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship), or(b) it is a direct consequence of a person being, or having been, a victim of such abuse.(4) A person is not guilty of an offence if—(a) the person is under the age of 18 when the person does the act which constitutes the offence,(b) the person does that act as a direct consequence of the person being, or having been, a victim of domestic abuse as defined at subsection (3)(a) above, and(c) a reasonable person in the same situation as the person and having the person’s relevant characteristics would do that act.(5) For the purposes of this section “relevant characteristics” means age, sex, any physical or mental illness or disability and any experience of domestic abuse.(6) In this section references to an act include an omission.(7) Subsections (1) and (4) do not apply to an offence listed in Schedule (Offences to which the defence for victims of domestic abuse who commit an offence does not apply).(8) The Secretary of State may by regulations amend Schedule (Offences to which the defence for victims of domestic abuse who commit an offence does not apply).(9) The Secretary of State must make arrangements for monitoring of the types of offence for which victims of domestic abuse are prosecuted and use this evidence to inform an annual review of the offences listed in Schedule (Offences to which the defence for victims of domestic abuse who commit an offence does not apply) and any amendment to Schedule (Offences to which the defence for victims of domestic abuse who commit an offence does not apply).”Member’s explanatory statementThis new Clause would provide a statutory defence for survivors of domestic abuse, in some circumstances, who commit an offence. It is closely modelled on section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Ayes 283, Noes 245.

Division number 4 Domestic Abuse Bill - Report (2nd Day) — Amendment 51

Aye: 283 Members of the House of Lords

No: 245 Members of the House of Lords

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

Division conducted remotely on Amendment 51

Amendment 51 agreed.

Photo of Baroness Barker Baroness Barker Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Voluntary Sector), Deputy Chairman of Committees 10:22 pm, 10th March 2021

We now come to the group consisting of Amendment 52. Anyone wishing to press this amendment to a Division must make that clear in debate.