Domestic Abuse Bill — Before Clause 69 — Reasonable Force in Domestic Abuse Cases — 15 Apr 2021 at 15:45
The majority of MPs voted against making clear that there is a defence of using reasonable force in self-defence which can be used by a victim of domestic abuse.
The motion supported by a majority of MPs in this vote was:
- That this House disagrees with Lords amendment 37
Lords amendment 37 stated:
- Insert the following new Clause—
- “Reasonable force in domestic abuse cases
- (1) Section 76 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (reasonable force for purposes of self-defence etc.) is amended as follows.
- (2) In subsection (5A) after “In a householder case” insert “or a domestic abuse case”.
- (3) In subsection (6) after “In a case other than a householder case” insert “or a domestic abuse case”.
- (4) After subsection (8F) insert—
- “(8G) For the purposes of this section “a domestic abuse case” is a case where—
- (a) the defence concerned is the common law defence of self-defence,
- (b) D is, or has been, a victim of domestic abuse, and
- (c) the force concerned is force used by D against the person who has perpetrated the abusive behaviour referred to in paragraph (b).
- (8H) Subsection (8G)(b) will only be established if the behaviour concerned is, or is part of, a history of conduct which constitutes domestic abuse as defined in sections 1 and 2 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, including but not limited to conduct which constitutes the offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship as defined in section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 (controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship).”
- (5) In subsection (9) after “householder cases” insert “and domestic abuse cases”.”
The explanatory notes to the Lords amendments stated :
- "Lords Amendment 37 would amend section 76 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 ("the 2008 Act") to extend the current degree of force applicable to householders to that where the defendant is also a victim of domestic abuse. 87 Subsections (2), (3) and (5) of the new clause would amend subsections (5A), (6), and (9) of section 76 of the 2008 Act. The amendments would extend the terms that are applicable to a householder, i.e. where a householder may use reasonable force to protect themselves, their family or property, to cases where the defendant is also a victim of domestic abuse.
- Subsection (4) would insert new section 76(8G) and (8H) into the 2008 Act to define a "domestic abuse case" as one where the defence concerns itself with the common law defence of self-defence, where the person charged is (or has been) the victim of domestic abuse (as defined in Clauses 1 and 2 of the Domestic Abuse Act), and the force used was against the perpetrator of the abuse."
The explanatory notes to Section 76 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 state:
- Section 76 provides a gloss on the common law of self-defence and the defences provided by section 3(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1967 and section 3(1) of the Criminal Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1967, which relate to the use of force in the prevention of crime or making an arrest. It is intended to improve understanding of the practical application of these areas of the law. It uses elements of case law to illustrate how the defence operates. It does not change the current test that allows the use of reasonable force.
-  Parliament's webpage on the Domestic Abuse Bill, Parliament.uk
-  Explanatory notes to the Domestic Abuse Bill as introduced in the House of Commons on 3 March 2020, Parliament.uk
-  Lords amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill, Parliament.uk
-  Explanatory notes to the Lords amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill as brought from the House of Commons on 7 July 2020, notes dated 25 March 2021, Parliament.uk
-  Explanatory notes to Section 76 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, Legislation.gov.uk
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (Aye)||Minority (No)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||352 (+2 tell)||0||0||97.3%|
|Lab||0||194 (+2 tell)||0||98.5%|