New Domestic Abuse Laws to Protect Victims in Court and Online – – Our News, Your Views

New Domestic Abuse Laws to Protect Victims in Court and Online


The Government is to introduce new legislation to protect victims of domestic violence.

Details of the proposed bill were published today by Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. Minster Fitzgerald expressed the need for reform in domestic violence cases by saying that new legislation was needed that would be ‘stronger, that gives more protection to the victim, that makes it easier in emergency situations to get a barring order’.

The new legislation – ‘The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence’, better known as the ‘Istanbul Convention’ is aimed at protecting the victims of Domestic abuse.

This will allow a judge to prevent perpetrators from contacting victims of domestic abuse electronically, through social media or by other means. The Convention also allows victims to give accounts through video in court so as to prevent intimidation by perpetrators, while also restricting the people allowed to attend the court hearings.

The legislation also introduces emergency interim barring orders to remove perpetrators from family homes, and victims no longer need to have equal or greater interest in property to have a perpetrator removed.

Other key points in the new legislation are that there will be compulsory referrals from courts to support services and the appointment of children’s experts to allow the child’s views to be heard in courts.

According to support group ‘Women’s Aid’ over 16500 disclosures of domestic violence against women and 5700 against children were brought to them in the last year, 2014.

This new legislation is to gain government approval in the Autumn and come into effect in the next year.

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