Manual Legal Responses to Domestic Violence

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She as invited to be a member of this group as a result of her expertise on the legal responses to domestic violence and was the only academic member. The group contributed significantly to the consultation paper Safety and Justice Home Office, which in turn informed the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act Although the legislation predates the impact period, it has ongoing impact as key measures, such as criminalisation of the breach of non-molestation orders, continue to influence the effectiveness of remedies available to victims of domestic violence.

Using law and leaving domestic violence - TC Beirne School of Law - University of Queensland

The influence of the legislation was evaluated by Burton for the LSC in 3. It appeared that criminalisation might have reduced the number of protection orders made, but Burton advised caution on drawing this conclusion and recommended more effort be put into ensuring specialist solicitors were available to support victims through the legal system. One of the key policies considered by the DVAG in was whether third parties, such as the police, should be empowered to apply for civil remedies on behalf of victims of domestic violence.

Research by Burton as lead researcher , was used to inform a decision not to proceed with a pilot at that time 3. However, the government is currently reviewing this policy and Burton's research is being used as a resource to inform that review process.

The current review is motivated by the pilots of domestic violence prevention orders, and continuing concerns about police handling of domestic violence complaints. Burton found that the police were concerned about being authorised as third party applicants for civil protection orders, and recommended fuller consideration of who might be authorised as an applicant in order to ensure the measure is successful if implemented.

“Violence with Every Step”

Overall Burton's research showed that service providers were in favour of a pilot of third party applications, if issues of consent of the victim are appropriately handled 3. In several recent House of Commons briefing papers, Parliamentarians have been referred to Burton's research on third party applications see 5. Although some of these courts had been evaluated individually, there was no study examining the features of best practice for court specialisation by examining different models.

The research looked at best practice across the five courts and compared this with other jurisdictions.

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The findings of this research, reported in , informed a decision by the MoJ and the CPS to introduce two more pilot domestic violence courts experimenting with different models. Both the original five court evaluation and the evaluation of the CPS pilot courts carried out in found that independent advocacy support for victims of domestic violence was crucial to increasing their safety and wellbeing.


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The evaluation showed that the development of specialist courts was central to the delivery of that support, and also helped to increase the sensitivity of practitioners, especially magistrates, to the dynamics of abuse; it contributed to attitudinal change and some improved outcomes, although victim withdrawal remained high. As the research showed that court specialisation did improve victims' experiences of the criminal justice system, the two SDVC projects led to the decision to roll out SDVCs nationally.

Within a few years, there were over such courts and they formed a central plank of Labour government policy to improve criminal justice response to domestic violence Safety with Justice, , Home Office.

NCSC | National Center for State Courts

Court specialisation remains a key feature of criminal justice policy Swift and Sure, Home Office, Outside government, Burton's research on the civil remedies for domestic violence has been of interest to a wide range of third sector agencies and practitioners. She is regularly contacted by third sector support agencies for information about her research to inform their campaigning and advisory services. Improving legal responses to domestic violence.

The Church's Response to Domestic Violence

Submitting Institution University of Leicester. Unit of Assessment Law. Women will be interviewed three times over a three year period. Case studies.

Using law and leaving domestic violence

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