consultation evidence domestic abuse family courts

Consultation opened on 16 February 2023. Closing date 21 April 2023.


The Department of Justice has launched a consultation on evidence of domestic abuse that should trigger an automatic prohibition on cross-examination in person in family courts.


Consultation description

The Domestic Abuse and Civil Proceedings Act (Northern Ireland) 2021 makes provision, still to be commenced, to protect a victim of domestic abuse from being cross-examined by the perpetrator in person in family proceedings (and vice-versa). An automatic prohibition on cross-examination in person will apply in specific circumstances and this consultation seeks views on what forms of evidence of domestic abuse, in addition to those already provided for in the 2021 Act, should trigger the automatic prohibition. These will be specified in secondary legislation.

We would welcome views from everyone with an interest in the family justice system. However, we would particularly welcome the views of victims of domestic abuse who have been involved in family proceedings, people who have represented themselves in family proceedings, and professionals, organisations and others who may be asked to provide evidence on behalf of a victim of domestic abuse.

Responding to the consultation

Responses to the consultation can be submitted using the questionnaire provided on the Department’s website or via Citizen Space on the NI Direct website 

For a copy of the consultation in an alternative format, please Email 

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