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Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Act (Northern Ireland) 2021

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Report on the operation of this Part
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34.—(1) The Department of Justice must prepare a report, covering the reporting period, in relation to the following categories of offence—

(a)an offence under section 1 (including as alleged to be aggravated as referred to in section 8 or 9),

(b)an offence of any kind that is alleged to be aggravated as referred to in section 15.

(2) A report under this section must set out this information—

(a)the number of—

(i)offences under section 1 as recorded by the Police Service of Northern Ireland on the basis of allegations made to them (including as recorded by reference to police districts),

(ii)files submitted by the Police Service to the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland in respect of offences within each of the categories,

(iii)cases prosecuted by the Public Prosecution Service for offences within each of the categories,

(iv)convictions in cases prosecuted by the Public Prosecution Service for offences within each of the categories (particularly where such offences are proved to be aggravated as referred to in section 8 or 9 or (as the case may be) in section 15),

(b)the average length of time, for offences within the categories as a whole—

(i)from recording of cases by the Police Service on the basis of allegations made to them,

(ii)to disposal of cases at court (disregarding appeal processes).

(3) A report under this section is to include, so far as available—

(a)information about the level of participation by persons in training provided under section 32,

(b)information about—

(i)how court business is arranged so as to ensure the efficient disposal of cases for offences within the categories as a whole,

(ii)the experience at court of witnesses (including witnesses who are children) in cases for offences within the categories as a whole.

(4) A report under this section is to include, in addition—

(a)any views that the Department of Justice considers appropriate to give in relation to the operation of this Part (including the Department’s assessment of the effectiveness of this Part),

(b)information about—

(i)any issuing, review or revision of guidance by the Department under section 30,

(ii)any steps taken by the Department for raising public awareness (particularly awareness of victims) of matters relating to domestic abuse in Northern Ireland,

(iii)any activities undertaken by the Department in supporting the operation of this Part,

(iv)any further things that the Department considers appropriate.

(5) A report under this section must be—

(a)laid before the Assembly by the Department of Justice, and

(b)published by the Department,

as soon as practicable after the report is completed by the time and in the form determined by the Department.

(6) As for the reporting period—

(a)the first reporting period is the period, of not less than 2 years and not more than 3 years beginning with the day on which Chapters 1 and 2 come into operation, determined by the Department of Justice,

(b)each subsequent reporting period is the period of 3 years coming after the previous reporting period.

(7) The preceding subsections of this section cease to have effect at such time, which must not be before the end of the period of 10 years beginning with the day on which Chapters 1 and 2 come into operation, as the Department of Justice may by regulations specify.

(8) Regulations under this section are subject to negative resolution.

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