The Government has committed to introducing a new domestic abuse bill, following its recent consultation process. You can read more about the history of this bill in our previous blog.
The Government has published its proposals here: Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse: Consultation Response and Draft Bill
It is proposed that the new bill will:
- provide for a statutory definition of domestic abuse
- establish the office of Domestic Abuse Commissioner and set out the Commissioner’s functions and powers
- provide for a new Domestic Abuse Protection Notice and DAPO
- prohibit perpetrators of domestic and other forms of abuse from cross-examining their victims in person in the family courts (and prevent victims from having to cross-examine their abusers) and give the court discretion to prevent cross-examination in person where it would diminish the quality of the witness’s evidence or cause the witness significant distress
- create a statutory presumption that complainants of an offence involving behaviour that amounts to domestic abuse are eligible for special measures in the criminal courts
- enable domestic abuse offenders to be subject to polygraph testing as a condition of their licence following their release from custody
- place the guidance supporting the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme on a statutory footing
- ensure that, where a local authority, for reasons connected with domestic abuse, grants a new secure tenancy to a social tenant who had or has a secure lifetime or assured tenancy (other than an assured shorthold tenancy), this must be a secure lifetime tenancy
- extend the extra-territorial jurisdiction of the criminal courts in England and Wales to further violent and sexual offences
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