Offences against the person committed outside the UK: Northern Ireland

Domestic Abuse Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 11th June 2020.

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

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

Clause 61 extends the jurisdiction of the criminal courts in Northern Ireland in the same terms as clause 60 extends the jurisdiction of the criminal courts in England and Wales. We did not go into clause 60 in any detail, but that is what it is about.

Clause 61 gives effect in Northern Ireland to our obligations under article 44 of the Istanbul convention, as it applies to article 35, which covers physical violence, and article 39, which covers forced abortion and forced sterilisation. Like clause 60, it does so by extending extraterritorial jurisdiction to certain offences against the person, including actual or grievous bodily harm and murder and manslaughter, in circumstances where the courts do not already have such jurisdiction. That will mean that a UK national or a person habitually resident in Northern Ireland who commits one of the offences outside the UK can, exceptionally, stand trial for the offence in Northern Ireland.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 61 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.