The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 comes into effect on 1 April 2019. The Act creates a specific offence of domestic abuse that covers not only physical abuse but also psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour that cannot easily be prosecuted using the previous existing law. The Act reflects the fact that children are harmed by domestic abuse by providing for a statutory aggravation in relation to children. It also makes a number of reforms to criminal procedure in domestic abuse cases.
This talk will provide an overview of the policy intent behind the new offence of domestic abuse and in particular how it is intended to ensure that the criminal law more accurately reflects how domestic abuse is perpetrated. It will also cover the new statutory aggravation concerning children and how the new offence interacts with the existing law.
Patrick Down works in the Scottish Government’s Criminal Justice Division. He worked on the development of the domestic abuse offence and subsequently on taking the legislation through Parliament. Prior to that he has worked on a range of criminal justice legislation, including the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 which created a statutory sentencing aggravation for domestic abuse and a new offence concerning the non-consensual sharing of intimate images.
Originally recorded on 17.4.19
17.4.19 The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018
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