Domestic Abuse

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 14th July 2020.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has held discussions with his counterparts in the devolved Administrations on tackling domestic abuse throughout the UK.

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

The Ministry of Justice, alongside our partners on this agenda at the Home Office, continue to have a regular dialogue with the devolved administrations about the progress of the Domestic Abuse Bill.

The measures in the Bill relate to devolved matters in Scotland and Northern Ireland, however, with the agreement of the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice and the Northern Ireland Minister of Justice, the Bill as introduced on 3 March 2020 includes measures extending the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the criminal courts in Scotland and Northern Ireland to certain violent and sexual offences. I welcome the fact that the Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly have approved a legislative consent motion in respect of these provisions in the Bill insofar as they apply to Scotland and Northern Ireland on 17 and 23 June respectively.

The matters to which the provisions of the Bill relate are not within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales. Nonetheless, there has also been extensive engagement with the Welsh Government, particularly over the remit of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner in Wales.

In addition, the Ministry of Justice recently published the report of its panel of experts looking into how the family courts manage cases involving domestic abuse and other serious offences. This report covered both England and Wales and we continue engagement with the Welsh Government about a proposed implementation plan.

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