CJI’s Chief Inspector Brendan McGuigan has called for further action to be taken by the criminal justice system to improve how cases of domestic violence and abuse are handled.
Speaking following the release of CJI’s latest report Mr McGuigan said new legislation to create a new offence of domestic abuse which was delayed by the lack of a functioning Assembly needed to be taken forward. He also called for the implementation of a properly funded Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) service to be implemented as recommended by CJI in 2010.
“This inspection report recognised the commitment to dealing with incidents of domestic violence and abuse and rhetoric that exists around this issue which exists, but in my view there is no excuse why victims of domestic violence and abuse in Northern Ireland do not have access to a properly funded IDVA scheme similar to those which have been operating in England and Wales for the last 15 years.
“Nor where a sufficient number of domestic offence cases exist, they cannot be grouped together in all Court Divisions in this jurisdiction in order to speed up the progress of these cases and offer a more appropriate environment for victims attending court,” he said.
The Chief Inspector called for progress on the seven recommendations made within the inspection report by the end of March 2020.
Access the report here