Amendments proposed to the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill [Lords], As Amended - continued House of Commons

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Use of recovery orders

   

Mr David Heath
Sandra Gidley

NC5

To move the following Clause—

       'In Part I of the Family Law Act 1986 (c. 55) (child custody), after section 34 insert—

             "34A Use of recovery orders in cases involving either allegations of domestic violence or a potential risk to the child

          (1)   If an applicant claims that their partner has abducted a child of the family, the court may grant a recovery order if the applicant already has a residence order in their name.

          (2)   If there is no residence order in favour of either parent, the court may grant a recovery order.

          (3)   The recovery order will require both parties to attend court within 24 hours of the discovery of the child, or the first working day thereafter.

          (4)   Before returning the child to the applicant or giving the applicant any information as to the whereabouts of the child, the police must—

          (a) check their records to see whether either party has committed acts of violence;

          (b) check to see whether either party is included on the register of domestic violence perpetrators;

          (c) having located the child without notifying the applicant of the child's whereabouts, make enquiries with regard to the child's welfare.

          (5)   If records show that the applicant has a history of violence or the police have concerns about the welfare of the child if the child is returned to the applicant, the police will—

          (a) not remove the child from the respondent;

          (b) advise the respondent to seek legal representation;

          (c) notify the court of their action immediately.

          (6)   If there is no record of violence and no reason to believe that the defendant or the child is at risk, the police will return the child to the applicant.

          (7)   Ex parte residence or contact orders should only be made if there is evidence that a party is wilfully refusing to attend court.'.


Duration of occupation orders

   

Mr David Heath
Sandra Gidley

NC6

To move the following Clause—

    '(1)   In Part 4 of the Family Law Act 1996 (c. 27) (family homes and domestic violence), for section 35(10) (one former spouse with no existing right to occupy) substitute—

          "(10)   An order under this section shall be limited so as to have effect for a specified period of six months, but may be extended on two occasions for a further period of six months unless an application is made to discharge the order."

    (2)   For section 36(10) (one cohabitant or former cohabitant with no existing right to occupy) substitute—

          "(10)   An order under this section shall be limited so as to have effect for a specified period of six months, but may be extended on two occasions for a further period of six months unless an application is made to discharge the order."

    (3)   For section 37(5) (neither spouse entitled to occupy) substitute—

          "(5)   An order under this section shall be limited so as to have effect for a specified period of six months, but may be extended on two occasions for a further period of six months unless an application is made to discharge the order."

    (4)   For section 38(6) (neither cohabitant or former cohabitant entitled to occupy) substitute—

          "(6)   An order under this section shall be limited so as to have effect for a specified period of six months, but may be extended on two occasions for a further period of six months unless an application is made to discharge the order.".'.


Temporary orders

   

Mr David Heath
Sandra Gidley

NC7

To move the following Clause:—

    '5B   Restraining orders on conviction or acquittal of an offence arising out of domestic violence

    (1)   Any order granted under section 5 or 5A after conviction or acquittal of an offence arising out of domestic violence shall be a temporary order.

    (2)   On the making of a temporary order under this section, the court shall adjourn further hearing to the Family Proceedings Court or the County Court.

    (3)   The person or persons for whose benefit the temporary order has been made shall be entitled to be heard and represented by a family lawyer at the adjourned hearing, and may lead, as further evidence, any evidence that would be admissible in proceedings under section 3.

    (4)   Domestic violence may include, but is not restricted to—

      (a) actual or threatened physical, verbal, sexual, psychological or emotional abuse;

      (b) intimidation, harassment or stalking;

      (c) actual or threatened damage to property;

      (d) threates of harm to or restriction of access to others, including children;

      (e) unwarranted restriction of or interference with access to money, personal items, food, transportation and communication; or

      (f) restriction of freedom of movement or access to potential sources of support;

    by a person or his or her agent towards a cohabitant, relevant child or associated person as defined in section 62 of the Family Law Act 1996 (meaning of "cohabitants", "relevant Child" and "associated Persons") and may be a single act or a number of acts forming a pattern of abusive behaviour.

    (5)   Abuse has occurred if the defendant causes a relevant child to witness or puts a relevant child at risk of witnessing the abuse of an associated person.

    (6)   The victim is not to be regarded for the purposes of subsection (3) as having caused or allowed the child to see or hear abuse or, as the case may be, as having put the child, or allowed the child to be put, at risk of seeing or hearing the abuse.'.


Photography of witnesses, etc, in court

   

Mr David Heath
Sandra Gidley

NC8

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   No person shall—

      (a) take, or attempt to take, a photograph in a specified court of any person being a juror, witness in or party to any proceedings before the court, or

      (b) photograph, or attempt to photograph, any person in any court if the presiding judge has determined that it would not be in the interests of justice for any photograph to be taken; or

      (c) publish, transmit or broadcast any photograph taken in contravention of the foregoing provisions of this section.

    (2)   Any person acting in contravention of this section shall, on summary conviction, be liable in respect of each offence to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

    (3)   For the purposes of this section—

      (a) "specified court" means any magistrates' court, any other court in which criminal proceedings take place, or any other court which the Lord Chancellor may by order prescribe;

      (b) "judge" includes a lay judge, district judge, recorder, judge, registrar or coroner;

      (c) "photograph" includes any image whether still or moving made by any means whether photographic, electronic or otherwise;

      (d) a photograph shall be deemed to be a photograph taken in court if the subject of the photograph is in the courtroom or in the building or in the precincts of the building in which the court is held at the time that the photograph is taken.'.


Amendment to the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 to extend the category of witnesses eligible for assistance on grounds of fear or distress about testifying

   

Mr David Heath
Sandra Gidley

NC9

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   Section 17 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 is amended as follows.

    (2)   After subsection (1) insert—

          "(1B)   For the purpose of this chapter an applicant in civil proceedings relating to domestic violence is eligible for assistance by virtue of this subsection if the Court is satisfied that the quality of evidence given by the applicant is likely to be diminished by reason of fear or distress on the part of the applicant in connection with testifying in the proceedings.".'.


Provision of explanations to victims

   

Mr Harry Barnes

NC16

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   In any case since the revision of the Victims Charter in 1996 where a prosecuting authority decides—

      (a) not to charge a person with a criminal offence,

      (b) not to proceed with a criminal charge, or

      (c) to charge a person with a lesser offence,

       it shall provide the victim with an explanation.

    (2)   The provisions of subsection (1) have effect notwithstanding any other enactment, any claim to legal professional privilege or the provisions of any code issued under section 32.

    (3)   An authority which fails to comply with subsection (1) shall be liable to civil proceedings.'.


Domestic Violence Advocacy Service (No. 1)

   

Vera Baird

NC17

*To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   In this section, "Voluntary organisation" means a charity or an organisation operating on a not-for-profit basis.

    (2)   The Secretary of State shall establish, maintain and develop a national service known as the Domestic Violence Advocacy Service for the purpose of promoting the availability to victims of services of the descriptions specified in subsection (3) and, in particular, for securing (within the resources made available, and priorities set, in accordance with subsection (6)) that victims have access to services that effectively meet their needs.

    (3)   The descriptions of services referred to in subsection (1) are—

      (a) the provision of help in developing and implementing a plan for ensuring the safety of the victim and the safety of the children of the victim as a priority,

      (b) the provision of general information, relevant to the victim, about the law and legal system and the availability of legal services,

      (c) the provision of help by the giving of advice as to how the law applies in the particular circumstances of the victim,

      (d) the provision of advice as to the availability to the victim of relevant support services offered by other agencies,

      (e) the provision of assistance in accessing services relevant to the victim that are offered by other agencies,

      (f) the provision of help in relation to legal proceedings, whether in the family, criminal or civil courts.

    (4)   The services of the descriptions specified in subsection (3) shall be accessible to victims at any hour and on any day and shall be provided by persons of the same sex as the victim where requested by the victim.

    (5)   The Secretary of State shall establish and maintain a fund known as the Domestic Violence Advocacy Service Fund from which services of the descriptions specified in subsection (3) shall be funded as part of the Domestic Violence Advocacy Service.

    (6)   The Secretary of State shall prepare a code setting out the criteria according to which he will decide how to fund services as part of the Domestic Violence Advocacy Service.

    (7)   When preparing the code referred to in subsection (6) the Secretary of State shall consult all relevant bodies (and, in particular, voluntary organisations) who are able to communicate the views of victims of domestic violence.

    (8)   The Secretary of State may accredit, or authorise others to accredit, voluntary organisations providing services of the descriptions specified in subsection (3); and any system of accreditation shall include provision for the monitoring of the services provided by accredited organisations and for the withdrawal of accreditation from any providing services of unsatisfactory quality.

    (9)   The Secretary of State may fund services as part of the Domestic Violence Advocacy Service by—

      (a) entering into contracts with voluntary organisations for the provision of services by them,

      (b) making payments to voluntary organisations in respect of the provision of services by them,

      (c) making grants or loans to voluntary organisations to enable them to provide, or facilitate the provision of, services,

      (d) establishing and maintaining voluntary organisations to provide, or facilitate the provision of, services,

      (e) making grants or loans to individuals to enable them to obtain services,

      (f) doing anything else which he considers appropriate for funding services.

    (10)   The Secretary of State may by order require accredited bodies providing services of the descriptions specified in subsection (3) to discharge those services in accordance with the order.'.


 
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