Remand under section 26(8) of person arrested for breach of notice

Domestic Abuse Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:15 pm on 10th June 2020.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Hon. Members::

Hear, hear!

Photo of Alex Chalk Alex Chalk Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

I am glad that all hon. Members are taking this seriously. It is a pleasure to serve under your expert chairmanship, Mr Bone, and to be one of the Ministers leading on this Bill. When I was a Back Bencher, together with another Member of Parliament, I ended up doing some work on stalking laws to try to increase the maximum sentence for stalking, so if I could have chosen any Bill to be a Minister on, it would have been this one. It is a real pleasure to be here. I am delighted to see my shadow, the hon. Member for Hove, and the hon. Member for Birmingham, Yardley. We share a common endeavour in wanting to make this the best piece of legislation.

Clause 27 is a procedural clause that sets out how long a person can be held on remand if they are arrested for breach of a police-issued domestic abuse protection notice and the magistrates court adjourns that hearing. A magistrates court can normally remand a person for up to eight days, but clause 27 sets out that the court can also remand the person if a medical report is required. In such cases, a person can be remanded for only up to three weeks at a time if they are remanded in custody, or up to four weeks at a time if they are remanded on bail.

If the person is suffering from a mental disorder and a report is needed on their mental condition, they may be remanded to hospital so that such a report can be produced. That can be for up to a maximum of 28 days at a time or a total of 12 weeks if there are multiple stays in hospital.

If the court decides to remand a person on bail, it can attach any conditions necessary to prevent the person from obstructing the course of justice—for example, interfering with witnesses. These are standard provisions that largely replicate the approach taken for remand following breaches of other types of protective orders, such as non-molestation orders, occupation orders and antisocial behaviour injunctions.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 27 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.