Bishop of St Albans receives written answer on international violence against women convention

On 8th December 2014, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer to a written question on the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government by what date they expect that departments and the devolved administrations will have completed their consideration of extra-territorial jurisdiction in respect of offences established in accordance with the Istanbul Convention.[HL3233]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks): This government takes its international obligations very seriously. That is why we signed the Istanbul Convention on 8 June 2012, to show our strong commitment to tackling violence against women and girls.

The UK has some of the most robust laws in the world against violence towards women and girls. We have criminalised forced marriage but primary legislation will also be needed to comply with the extra-territorial jurisdiction provisions in Article 44 of the Convention before it can be ratified.

Justice Ministers are currently considering the extent to which we need to amend the criminal law of England and Wales for compliance with Article 44 prior to ratification of the Convention.

Any changes necessary to the criminal law in Scotland and Northern Ireland prior to ratification are matters for the devolved administrations. We will consult Ministers in the devolved administrations about whether legislative changes in England and Wales should extend to Scotland and Northern Ireland.