Violence against women and domestic violence in relation to the Istanbul Convention

AuthorFrances Meenan
10 Violence ag ainst women and domestic violence in relation to the Istanbul
10.1 General (legal) context
10.1.1 Surveys and reports on issues of violence against wom en and domestic violence
There is a detailed action plan in respect of what legislation has to be introduced or
amended.241 The Government has set out the outs tanding actions and these actions form
part of the actions in the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based
Violence 2015-2020 which is currently being finalised and will be submitted to the
Government for approval following consultation with the voluntary and community sector
in the near future.
10.1.2 Overview of national acts on violence against women, domestic violence and issues
related to the Istanbul Convention
The actions to be taken include:
- Education and training for the police force, court services, probation service staff and
health and children agency staff, and law students;
- The Domestic Violence Act 2018 was passed, which in summary means that various
factors can be taken into account wh en applicat ion is made to court for a b arring
- Review of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme for victims of domestic
- The developm ent of a Risk Assessment Matrix for all victims of domestic violence
and sexual crimes;
- A National Helpline Service to respond to issues of domestic and sexual violence;
- The Criminal Law (Mutual Assistance) Act 2008 shall be amended to include reference
to the Istanbul Convention;
- The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is committed to providing
information to victims of violence on access t o complaint mechanisms such as the
European Court of Human Rights;
- Extend access to barring orders;
- Legislate for extraterritoriality where an offence is committed by an Irish national or
a person who is habitually resident in Ireland over offences in the Non-Fatal Offences
Against the Person Act 1997, sexual offences and the new offence of forced
- Annual report on the monitoring of the application of the Convention;
- Provide support to child witnesses of domestic and sexual violence;
- Examine the potential for the removal of the common law defence of reasonable
chastisement which may be availed of in proceedings under the Non-F atal Offences
Against the Person Act 1997 and under Section 246 of the Children’ s Act 2001.
The Criminal Law (Sexua l Offences) Act 2017 gave effect to Directive No. 2011/93/EU of
the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 1 on combating the
sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography, and replacing
Council Framework Decision 2004/68/JHA. Th e Act amends certain other legislation and
provides for offences relating to sexual acts with protected persons and relating to
payment for sexual activity with prostitutes, offensi ve conduct of a sexual nature and
harassment of victims of sexual offences. In addition, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences)
(Amendment) Act 2019 was ena cted to amend the A ct of 2017. The Act of 2019 sets out
the arrangements for sentencing for repeat sexual offenders and providing for minimum
periods of imprisonment.

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