The Bishop of Gloucester asked a question on defence for victims of abuse who commit an offence on 21st February 2023:
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: To ask His Majesty’s Government, further to the commitment by Lord Wolfson of Tredegar on 3 February 2021 (HL Deb col 2286) to “regularly reassess the effectiveness of any law and associated practices in protecting victims”, what recent assessment they have made of the need to review the existing defences for individuals whose offending or alleged offending results from their experience of domestic abuse.
Lord Bellamy (Con): My Lords, we are determined to protect and support victims of domestic abuse and bring perpetrators to justice. During the passage of the Domestic Abuse Act, we committed to undertake a review of defences to homicide where the offender was a victim of domestic abuse. That review, undertaken by Clare Wade KC, highlights several important and complex issues. I understand that the Government will publish that review very shortly, together with their views on its recommendations and the next steps.
The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his answer and for naming Clare Wade’s review, and I look forward to hearing more. At least 60% of women supervised in the community or in custody have experienced domestic abuse. I meet them regularly when I visit prisons in my role as Anglican Bishop for prisons. Will the Minister say when a Victims’ Commissioner will be appointed to protect the interests of all victims, including those who are themselves accused of offending?
Lord Bellamy: My Lords, I cannot give a date for the appointment of the next Victims’ Commissioner but I think it will be made as soon as possible.
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