Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence

Home Office written question – answered on 9th September 2019.

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Photo of Andrea Jenkyns Andrea Jenkyns Conservative, Morley and Outwood

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to complete the ratification of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence; and what recent discussions the Government has had with devolved Administrations on the necessary legislative changes to complete the ratification.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

The Government signed the Istanbul Convention to signal the UK’s strong commitment to tackling violence against women and girls.

The Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Act 2017 requires Ministers to publish annual reports on their progress towards being able to ratify the Convention. The next progress report is due to be published by 1 November 2019. This will, like previous reports, cover measures taken by the devolved administrations.

Following consultation with the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Department of Justice, the Domestic Abuse Bill includes measures extending the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the criminal courts in Scotland and Northern Ireland (as well as in England and Wales) to certain violent and sexual offences, and provides for a new domestic abuse offence in Northern Ireland. These legislative changes will support ratification of the Convention.

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