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Both men and women included in domestic violence bill

20 Dec 2018 / legislation Print

Both sexes included in domestic violence bill

Justice minister Charlie Flanagan (pictured) has thanked the Seanad for its welcome for the Criminal Law (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction) Bill 2018.

The minister said: “This bill is significant for two main reasons. It is the last piece of the legislative jigsaw required to enable Ireland to ratify the Istanbul Convention on combating violence against women and domestic violence.

The majority of the actions necessary are contained in the Domestic Violence Act, which passed earlier this year.

Violent crimes

“Secondly, this legislation, when enacted, will enable Ireland to prosecute violent crimes committed abroad by Irish citizens and residents in certain states.

It is anticipated that this power will be rarely invoked, but it is an important fall-back mechanism for countries that have ratified the convention.”

The minister noted that, while the convention is primarily concerned about violence against women, for equality reasons Ireland has included measures to address violence against men in its domestic legislation.

Ireland signed the Istanbul Convention in 2015 and began an action plan later incorporated into the Second National Strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

The measures included:

•     Targeted education and training modules for An Garda Síochána, HSE, Tusla, and the Courts Service,

•     Implementation of a risk assessment matrix by An Garda Síochána,

•     Integrated 24-hour national helplines,

•     Support for child witnesses of domestic and sexual violence.

In terms of legislation, the Government has enacted:

•     The Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017,

•     The Criminal Justice (Sexual Offences) Act 2017,

•     The Domestic Violence Act 2018.

The early passage of the Criminal Law (Extraterritorial Jurisdiction) Bill 2018 will allow for ratification of the Istanbul Convention in early 2019.

Gazette Desk
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