Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill
The policy objective of the Bill is to improve how the justice system responds to domestic abuse. The Committee welcomes evidence on any aspect of the Bill. This could include views on the following questions:
Do you agree with the proposal in the Bill to create a new offence of abusive behaviour towards a person’s partner or ex-partner covering both physical violence and non-physical abuse?
Do you consider that the proposed offence is needed to address a gap in the existing law which currently makes it difficult to prosecute some forms of domestic abuse?
Do you have any views on the definition of the offence, such as the requirement for a course of behaviour, the definition of abusive behaviour, or the defence that the behaviour was reasonable in all the circumstances?
The offence is restricted to abuse between partners and ex-partners. Do you agree with this approach? For example, during the Scottish Government’s consultation on a draft offence, concerns were raised that it did not properly reflect the impact of domestic abuse on children. The Scottish Government has sought to address this concern in the Bill, primarily by providing that the offence will be aggravated where it involves a child. Do you have any views on this aspect of the Bill?
Do you have any views on factors which might impact on the reporting, investigation and prosecution of the offence?
The Bill makes a number of reforms to criminal procedure, evidence and sentencing. For example, it would prohibit the accused in a domestic abuse case from personally conducting the defence. Do you agree with this prohibition?
The Bill would also require the court in a domestic abuse case to consider making a non-harassment order. What are your views on this approach?
The response to this consultation has now been submitted. Please contact the Consultation Response Team ([email protected]) if you have any related queries.