Review of the Need for Stalking Legislation in Northern Ireland
Synopsis: The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Justice is conducting a Review of the Need for Stalking Legislation in Northern Ireland.
Aim of the Review
The aim of the Review is:
to assess whether the current legislation in place in Northern Ireland to deal with stalking is appropriate and effective, identify any gaps and consider the need for and potential benefits of introducing specific stalking legislation.
Terms of Reference
The Committee will:
• Identify the extent, types and impact of stalking experienced by victims in Northern Ireland
• Examine the key issues relating to stalking offences and the handling of stalking cases by the criminal justice agencies
• Consider the effectiveness of the current legislation in dealing with stalking
• Consider the need for and potential benefits of having specific stalking legislation for Northern Ireland
• Consider examples of stalking legislation in other comparable jurisdictions
• Report to the Assembly on its findings and recommendations by 6 April 2017.
Approach to be taken
• The Review will seek written evidence and will take account of existing reports and research papers.
• The Review will include oral evidence sessions with criminal justice organisations and agencies, practitioners and voluntary and support organisations working with victims of stalking.
• The Committee is particularly keen to receive information on victims' experiences and will make appropriate arrangements to accommodate evidence from individual victims and/or their families.
• The Review will commission relevant research papers from the Assembly Research and Information Service.
• The Committee will host a seminar with keynote speaker, Laura Richards, on the issue of stalking and legislation in other jurisdictions.
Call for evidence
The call for evidence for the inquiry closed on 21 December 2016 and a copy of the submissions received are available to view here.
On 19 January 2017 the Committee held a seminar with keynote speaker, Laura Richards, Founder and Director of Paladin, the world’s first National Stalking Advocacy Service, on the issue of stalking and legislation in other jurisdictions.
A copy of Ms Richard's presentation can be found here