Attorney General Launches New Human Rights Guidance

23 May 2018

Attorney General Launches New Human Rights Guidance

In recognition of the devastating effects of domestic abuse, stalking and sexual violence in Northern Ireland, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland has produced guidance for criminal justice agencies on compliance with international human rights standards.

Today the Attorney General launched of two sets of human rights guidance which will have particular importance for women in this jurisdiction:

Guidance for the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Public Prosecution Service, the Probation Board for Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service on Domestic Abuse and Stalking; and

Guidance for the Public Prosecution Service on the application of section 5 of the Criminal Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1967 to rape victims and those to whom they make disclosures in connection with a claim for social security, child tax credit or anonymous registration on the electoral roll.

Speaking at the launch, the Attorney General said:

“These two pieces of guidance are designed to lift burdens. The guidance on the application of section 5 of the Criminal Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1967 reassures those who deal with certain specific claims that they need not fear prosecution for properly carrying out their duties. The guidance on domestic abuse and stalking seeks to lift the crushing burden of domestic abuse and stalking by directing a co-ordinated application of those international human rights standards that have as their object the eradication of this scourge. I am grateful to the women who have shared sometimes inexpressibly painful stories with me. This guidance is made in the hope that fewer such stories can be told in the future.”

In attendance were representatives from organisations including the Public Prosecution Service, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Probation Board, and Stalking NI.

The guidance can be viewed on the Human Rights Guidance section of this website.