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Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018

Chapter 1 – restriction on bail in solemn cases

60.Under section 23B(1) of the 1995 Act, there is ordinarily a presumption in favour of bail. Section 23D of that Act, however, provides that is some cases, set out in that section, bail is to be granted only in exceptional circumstances. These cases are where a person is accused in solemn proceedings (i.e. cases involving a jury) of either a drugs offence, or a violent or sexual offence, and has a previous conviction on indictment of either a drugs offence, or a sexual or violent offence, respectively. A conviction on indictment is one reached in solemn proceedings.

61.Paragraph 1 amends section 23D of the 1995 Act to add domestic abuse offences to the offences where, if there is a previous conviction on indictment, bail will be granted only in exceptional circumstances in a further solemn case.

62.Paragraph 1(2)(a) and (b) achieve this by adding a new subsection (3A) in section 23D of the 1995 Act, grouping domestic abuse offences with violent or sexual offences.

63.Paragraph 1(2)(c) defines domestic abuse offence by reference to section 1(1)(a) of the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016 (“the 2016 Act”) (aggravation where an offence involves abuse of a partner or ex-partner) and section 1(1) of this Act.

64.Paragraph 1(2)(d) amends section 23D(5) so that previous convictions for offences equivalent to domestic abuse in England and Wales, in Northern Ireland, and in member states of the European Union other than the UK, may be taken into consideration for the purposes of section 23D of the 1995 Act.

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