House of Commons - Explanatory Note
Domestic Violence, Crime And Victims Bill - continued          House of Commons

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Clause 33: Grants for assisting victims, witnesses etc

117.     Clause 33 will give the Secretary of State power to give grants to such persons or organisations as he considers appropriate in connection with measures intended to provide personal support to victims of crime, witnesses of crime, and others affected by crime. The clause allows the Secretary of State to attach conditions to the giving of the grant.

118.     The Home Office currently gives annual grants to several voluntary organisations which help victims and witnesses. This clause will regularise the Home Office position in relation to current and future core funding programmes for victims and witnesses, and is consistent with Treasury best practice that there should be specific statutory authority for regular government grants to voluntary sector bodies.


Clause 37: Orders

119.     Clause 37 provides that subordinate legislation is to be made by statutory instrument and makes provision as to the procedure which should apply to particular powers under the Bill. It allows subordinate legislation to make different provision for different purposes and to include supplementary, incidental, saving or transitional provision.

Clause 38: Extent

120.      The Bill generally applies to England and Wales only. Clauses 5, 7, 12 to 16, Schedule 1 and section 33, also apply to Northern Ireland. Clauses 8(2) and 11 apply to Northern Ireland only. Subsection (2) of clause 38 states that clause 7 extends to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, whereas subsection (3) states that it extends only to Northern Ireland. This is a result of the removal in the House of Lords of a clause, previously numbered 7, which dealt with Northern Ireland procedure and evidence in respect of the offence in clause 5. No amendment was tabled to remove the reference to that clause in clause 38(3). The amendments and repeals in schedules 4, 5, 7 and 8 have the same extent as the provisions to which they relate.

Schedule 7

121.     Schedule 7 makes minor and consequential amendments to the existing legislation. This includes: changes to the Family Law Act 1996, a set of amendments to a range of legislation to ensure the new offence of causing or allowing the death of child is comparable to other homicide offences, and existing insanity legislation. Schedule 7 also contains a number of consequential amendments linked to clauses removed from the Bill during its passage through the Lords.


122.     Total costs are estimated to be £40m, all of which would be an ongoing, annual cost. The measures in the Bill are not expected to require a significant increase in public service manpower. All measures will occasion only a small (in relative terms) increase in work for the Police, CPS and the courts, and in the case of the victims' measures the Parliamentary Ombudsman's Office.


123.     A full regulatory impact assessment is published with the Bill. There are no proposals that have a major impact on business.


124.     Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires the Minister in charge of a Bill in either House of Parliament to make a statement before the Second Reading about the compatibility of the provisions of the Bill with the Convention rights (as defined by section 1 of that Act). The Secretary of State for the Home Office, Rt Hon David Blunkett MP has made the following statement:

    In my view the provisions of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.

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Prepared: 2 April 2004