Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Deserving And Undeserving Victims - Still No Reply

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It certainly does ...


14 Jan 201, Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 14 January 2014, c479W)

Domestic Violence; Justice 

"Dan Jarvis (Shadow Minister (Justice); Barnsley Central, Labour) 

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will support the implementation of Eve's Law [sic] in respect of the protection of victims of domestic violence.
Damian Green (The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice; Ashford, Conservative) 

It is vital that our courts system protects victims of crime. Eve Thomas met with my officials recently. We are considering the important points she has made, and we will look at whether and in what circumstances protection might be extended.

It is already open to a judge in a civil court, on application of a party, to make an order to ensure that certain personal information, such as an address, remains confidential during proceedings. This is a matter for the discretion of the judge, taking into account the circumstances in each individual case. 

Any party in Family Proceedings who does not wish for their contact details (or that of any child) to be made known to anyone may file a Form C8. The details can then only be disclosed by an order of court."

But, the defendant, in a civil offence, silly Ms 'Eve Thomas', did not bother doing so. 

Perhaps, the selling of her books and, her revealing interviews, with a number of newspapers, were more important to her?


Early day motion 900


Session: 2013-14 Date tabled: 18.12.2013

Primary sponsor:

Flello, Robert


Owen, Albert
Ruane, Chris
Cunningham, Tony
George, Andrew
Durkan, Mark

That this House recognises that victims of domestic violence and abuse are being placed at risk when forced to give their safe address in open court in unrelated proceedings; supports Eve's Law to address this dangerous anomaly; further supports Eve's Marker which would red flag the personal information of a victim of abuse as confidential and highly sensitive and would ensure that the data would never be publicly disclosed unless exceptional circumstances demanded it; notes that Eve's Law would protect victims of domestic violence in court on an unrelated matter; further notes that Eve's Law would close an anomaly which may deter victims of domestic violence from reporting abuse; and urges the Government to introduce Eve's Law."

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Henry O'Carroll @OCarroll54

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20 March 2014

Public Bill Committee: Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, continued

"Protection of confidential information for victims of domestic and sexual abuse [other victims?]

Dan Jarvis

Mr Andy Slaughter

To move the following Clause:—

‘(1) The Secretary of State shall—

(a) issue mandatory codes of practice to ensure that safe addresses and other confidential contact information which would otherwise be subject to disclosure during court proceedings, is provided only to relevant court officials in cases involving victims of domestic and sexual violence or abuse; and by order bring such codes into effect as soon as reasonably practicable.

(2) Court officials in receipt of confidential information under subsection (1)(a) have a duty to prevent the unauthorised disclosure of such information.

(3) The codes of practice shall apply to all courts.’."


Tagged-on, "victims of sexual abuse" ... just 'cos they could.

Other vulnerable defendants, whether victims, in the past, or not?

Do these two spheres of victimhood, provide some special kind of passport of protection, or something?

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Thursday 27 March 2014 (Afternoon)

Public Bill Committee: Criminal Justice and Courts Bill

"New Clause 16;

Protection of confidential information for victims of domestic and sexual abuse

Mr Vara: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his comments on this important issue. I hope that I am able to give him some comfort about what the Government are doing.

There already exists a range of statutory and non-statutory obligations on courts and other bodies that together provide a high level of protection of an individual’s personal information. All individuals, but especially victims of domestic and sexual abuse, will have a genuine reason for wishing to avoid information such as their address from being disclosed unnecessarily and inappropriately. The need to disclose must be and is balanced with the need for courts to have essential information to administer justice and enable effective enforcement of judgments and orders.

Committee members will be aware of a campaign by Eve Thomas for Eve’s law and a marker to protect against disclosure of the personal information of victims of domestic violence. That stems from experience of civil enforcement proceedings to which Ms Thomas was a party. I am very grateful to her for raising this important issue.

Parties in civil proceedings are under a basic obligation to reveal their residential addresses, as must those providing witness statements in support of a party. Understandably, that may give rise to legitimate concerns from victims of abuse about the risk of disclosure to perpetrators. To guard against that, civil procedure rules already protect against the disclosure of confidential information in court, and in general, the courts are sensitive to those with a genuine reason for wishing to avoid disclosing their whereabouts and find ways to accommodate that. In family proceedings, including applications for protective injunctions and orders, contact details must be given but rules provide that they will not be disclosed other than by order of the court. I assure hon. Members that this Government take the issues of domestic and sexual violence and abuse very seriously. We have established cross-Government work programmes to improve the response and provide greater protection to victims of such forms of violence.

The Government carefully considered the issues raised by the Eve’s Law campaign. We were not persuaded that a new law or statutory marker, in court proceedings or more broadly across the many areas where a victim of abuse may interact with the state and other agencies, is a necessary and appropriate response. We are looking at whether we might strengthen the civil procedure rules to make the protection in civil court proceedings more explicit. That will involve discussions with victims groups and the judiciary.

We are also considering, through engagement with victims groups, how our enforcement system does everything it can to offer protection to victims while ensuring that creditors can access justice to enforce civil judgments where necessary. Moreover, we concluded that more could be done to raise awareness and ensure that proper attention was given to the protection of personal information of victims of abuse, in accordance with existing legal and other obligations. We have already incorporated a commitment in the call to end violence against women and girls action plan 2014, published in March, to develop a new non-statutory code of practice by April 2015.

I hope that hon. Members are assured that the Government are already committed to comprehensive actions and work in relation to the protection of personal information by courts, and more widely. For these reasons, we see no need for a statutory requirement for codes of practice for courts, and I respectfully invite the hon. Gentleman to withdraw the amendment.

Dan Jarvis: I have listened carefully to what the Minister has said. Clearly, the Government accept that there is an issue here, hence the announcement made a couple of weeks ago by the Home Secretary and the Minister for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims. I am content to look carefully at the detail of what the Minister has said. I am reassured by his response that he understands the excellent campaigning work of Eve Thomas. Given his response, I do not feel the requirement to press the matter to a vote, so I beg to ask leave to withdraw the clause.

Clause , by leave, withdrawn."
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Domestic Violence - How the law can protect you?

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  1. Oh wait...I thought you said victim's didn't matter? Now you're saying you're concerned with domestic violence victims....meh. They deserve it if they're dumb enough for it to happen to them

  2. Are you referring, to our position, Emily?

    The OSC