The Prime Minister took to twitter to confirm that the government was ‘fully committed’ to reintroducing new legislation to protect victims of domestic abuse following concerns it had been axed as a result of Parliament’s suspension last week. Prorogation will suspend all existing bills making their way through Parliament, unless the government chooses to carry them over to the next session beginning on 14 October. When Parliament returns on this date, although any dropped bills can be re-introduced, all progress made is lost and the process must start from scratch. The government chose to carry over three pieces of legislation, dropping both the Domestic Abuse Bill and the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill (which aimed to bring in a system of no-fault divorce). The Domestic Abuse Bill included the introduction of the first statutory definition of domestic abuse (including both financial and non-physical behaviour), the prohibition on perpetrators of abuse from cross-examining their victims in person in family courts and the introduction of a new Domestic Abuse Protection Notice and Domestic Abuse Protection Order. Women’s rights groups including Women’s Aid, Imkaan and the Centre for Women’s Justice wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister, urging him to ensure the Bill remains ‘a priority’ for the government’s next session. ‘Whatever happens next, the Prime Minister must confirm that protecting the rights and safety of survivors is a priority,’ said Nicki Norman, acting co-chief executive of Women’s Aid. ‘Over two years, thousands of survivors have bravely shared their experiences of domestic abuse with the government and fought to improve support for women and children. They must not be betrayed.’ [...]
One of our clients was wrongly arrested in connection with a recent murder in Tooting. The client, aged 17, had been walking 50m away from his home when he and his group of friends were stopped by the Police. Our client was told that he matched the description of the main suspect and thereby arrested for murder. The murder had taken place 20 mins before our client’s arrest. Our client was sporting a distinctive ‘man-bun’ hairstyle which seemed to be the main feature identified by witnesses when describing the suspect. He had never previously been arrested before and both he and his family were understandably shocked by the gravity of the allegations against him.
Thankfully, he exercised his right to a lawyer and we were able to assist him throughout his detention at the police station, and ultimately secure his release. Even though he was released under investigation, it is highly unlikely there will be any further action against him. He and his family were relieved that the whole ordeal had come to an end (relatively speedily!) and were grateful to us for all our hard work. The police have since identified and charged the real suspects.
Head of Crime, Harun Matin comments
This case highlights the fact that good proactive legal representation at the police station can have instant results. The client clearly benefitted from the advice given to him and even though it was a stressful situation, what could have been a prolonged case was thankfully much shorter.
To arrange a preliminary consultation or to find out how we can support you, please complete our online enquiry form or call us on 020 36015051.