Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Justice and Equality
Domestic homicides are truly devastating events for families, for friends and for the wider communities affected. It is important to remember the people and the lives behind these terrible tragedies and I would like to start by offering my condolences to all those whose lives have been so tragically impacted by domestic homicides.
This is why there is a commitment in the Justice Plan 2021 to publish the independent research on Familicide and Domestic Homicide Reviews which has been commissioned by my Department. This will be an important first step in delivering on the Programme for Government commitment to legislate to introduce Domestic Homicide Reviews.
The independent study is looking at international best practice in the conduct of Domestic Homicide Reviews with a view to making recommendations in relation to their application in this jurisdiction. I must emphasise that the Advisory Group and their work is independent, and the Department of Justice is not involved in the work of the study nor is it a member of the Advisory Group.
I understand from the Study Lead that the focus now is on the fair procedures part of the process and that this involves allowing any persons or organisations who might be affected by the contents of the draft report (including the families concerned) to be given an opportunity to reply. Invariably, this part of the process can take time as it involves engaging with multiple parties. However, it is an essential part of the process and must be completed before the report can be finalised.
The Study Lead is working to complete the process in order to be able to proceed to finalising the report.
When received, I will examine the report in detail and I am committed to considering any recommendations made as a priority.