Search Legislation

Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Act (Northern Ireland) 2021

 Help about what version

What Version

 Help about advanced features

Advanced Features

 Help about opening options

Opening Options

Changes over time for: CHAPTER 2

 Help about opening options

Alternative versions:

Status:

This version of this chapter contains provisions that are prospective. Help about Status

Close

Status

The term provision is used to describe a definable element in a piece of legislation that has legislative effect – such as a Part, Chapter or section. A version of a provision is prospective either:

  1. where the provision (Part, Chapter or section) has never come into force or;
  2. where the text of the provision is subject to change, but no date has yet been appointed by the appropriate person or body for those changes to come into force.

Commencement Orders listed in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ box as not yet applied may bring this prospective version into force.

Changes to legislation:

There are currently no known outstanding effects for the Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Act (Northern Ireland) 2021, CHAPTER 2. Help about Changes to Legislation

Close

Changes to Legislation

Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. At the current time any known changes or effects made by subsequent legislation have been applied to the text of the legislation you are viewing by the editorial team. Please see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ for details regarding the timescales for which new effects are identified and recorded on this site.

Prospective

CHAPTER 2N.I.Aggravation as to domestic abuse

Sentencing aggravationN.I.

Aggravation as to domestic abuseN.I.

15—(1) It may be specified as an allegation alongside a charge of an offence against a person (“A”) that the offence is aggravated by reason of involving domestic abuse.

(2) An offence as mentioned in subsection (1) does not include the domestic abuse offence (see section 1).

(3) Subsection (4) applies where—

(a)an allegation of aggravation is specified as mentioned in subsection (1), and

(b)the aggravation as well as the charge is proved.

(4) The court must—

(a)state on conviction that the offence is aggravated by reason of involving domestic abuse,

(b)record the conviction in a way that shows that the offence is so aggravated,

(c)in determining the appropriate sentence, treat the fact that the offence is so aggravated as a factor that increases the seriousness of the offence, and

(d)in imposing sentence, explain how the fact that the offence is so aggravated affects the sentence imposed.

(5) However, if—

(a)the charge is proved, but

(b)the aggravation is not proved,

A's conviction is as if there were no reference to the aggravation alongside the charge.

What amounts to the aggravationN.I.

16—(1) For the purposes of section 15, an offence committed by a person (“A”) is aggravated by reason of involving domestic abuse if the three listed conditions are met.

(2) The listed conditions are—

(a)that a reasonable person would consider the commission of the offence by A to be likely to cause another person (“B”) to suffer physical or psychological harm,

(b)that A—

(i)intends the commission of the offence to cause B to suffer physical or psychological harm, or

(ii)is reckless as to whether the commission of the offence causes B to suffer physical or psychological harm, and

(c)that A and B are personally connected to each other at the time.

(3) An offence committed by A can be aggravated by virtue of this section whether or not—

(a)the offence is committed against B, or

(b)the commission of the offence actually causes B to suffer harm of the relevant sort.

(4) Nothing in this section prevents evidence from being led in proceedings for the offence about harm actually suffered by B as a result of A's commission of the offence.

(5) The references in this section to psychological harm include fear, alarm and distress.

Exception regarding the aggravationN.I.

17—(1) For the purposes of section 16, an offence committed by a person (“A”) cannot be aggravated in relation to another person (“B”) by reason of involving domestic abuse if, at the time of the commission of the offence—

(a)B is under 16 years of age, and

(b)A has responsibility for B.

(2) Section 36 of the Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) 1968 applies for the purposes of determining whether A has responsibility for B as it applies for the purposes of determining whether a person has responsibility for a child or young person within the meaning of that Act.

Personal connectionN.I.

Meaning of personal connectionN.I.

18—(1) This section has effect for the purposes of this Chapter.

(2) Two people (“A” and “B”) are personally connected to each other if any of these applies—

(a)they are, or have been, married to each other,

(b)they are, or have been, civil partners of each other,

(c)they are living together, or have lived together, as if spouses of each other,

(d)they are, or have been, otherwise in an intimate personal relationship with each other, or

(e)they are members of the same family.

(3) They are members of the same family—

(a)if B is A's parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister, or

(b)if—

(i)one of them is in a relevant relationship with someone else (“C”), and

(ii)the other of them is C's parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister.

(4) One person is in a relevant relationship with someone else if—

(a)they are married to, or are civil partners of, each other, or

(b)they are living together as if spouses of each other.

(5) In determining family membership—

(a)a relationship of the half blood or by affinity is to be treated as a relationship of the whole blood, and

(b)a stepchild of a person is to be treated as the person's child.

Establishing connection by noticeN.I.

19—(1) In proceedings in respect of a charge against a person (“A”) of an offence alongside which there is specification of an allegation of aggravation as mentioned in section 15, the prosecutor may serve notice on A or A's solicitor proposing that the matter of A and B being personally connected as required for proof of the aggravation is to be taken as established for the purposes of the proceedings.

(2) Notice by the prosecutor under this section must be—

(a)in writing, and

(b)served no later than the point in the proceedings when the prosecutor complies with section 3 of the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (or purports to comply with it).

(3) If notice is served by the prosecutor under this section, the matter is to be taken as established for the purposes of the proceedings unless it is challenged in accordance with this section.

(4) The matter is challenged in accordance with this section by—

(a)A or A's solicitor serving on the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland, not later than the seventh day after the day of service of notice by the prosecutor under this section, written counter-notice of objection stating the reason for objection, or

(b)such later objection as the court allows in the interests of justice.

(5) In this section, “B” is the person in relation to whom the offence is alleged to have been committed.

How notice is to be servedN.I.

20—(1) This section governs service in proceedings by virtue of section 19—

(a)of notice on—

(i)a person (“A”) charged in the proceedings, or

(ii)A's solicitor, or

(b)of notice that is counter-notice on the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland (“the DPP”).

(2) Notice is served on the person by—

(a)handing it to the person,

(b)leaving it at the person's proper address,

(c)sending it by post to the person at the person's proper address, or

(d)where subsection (3) applies, sending it to the person by electronic means.

(3) This subsection applies where—

(a)the person on whom notice is to be served has indicated that it may be served on the person by being sent to an electronic address and in an electronic form specified by the person in that regard, and

(b)it is sent to that address in that form.

(4) Notice sent by electronic means is, unless the contrary is proved, to be treated as having been served at 09:00 on the working day immediately following the day on which it was sent.

(5) For the purposes of this section—

(a)an electronic address is any number or address used for sending or receiving documents or information by electronic means,

(b)a working day is a day other than a Sunday or a public holiday.

(6) The references in this section to a person's proper address are to—

(a)where the person is A, A's usual or last known address,

(b)where the person is—

(i)A's solicitor, or

(ii)the DPP,

the address of the person's office.

(7) In its application to service as governed by this section, section 24(1) of the Interpretation Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 is to be read as if the reference in that section to the person's usual or last known place of abode or business were a reference to the person's proper address.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made): The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

Timeline of Changes

This timeline shows the different points in time where a change occurred. The dates will coincide with the earliest date on which the change (e.g an insertion, a repeal or a substitution) that was applied came into force. The first date in the timeline will usually be the earliest date when the provision came into force. In some cases the first date is 01/02/1991 (or for Northern Ireland legislation 01/01/2006). This date is our basedate. No versions before this date are available. For further information see the Editorial Practice Guide and Glossary under Help.

Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources