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Featured consultations

On this page you will find featured government consultations that are currently running.

Featured consultations

Consultation on draft Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and the Department of Justice are seeking your views on the draft strategy for tackling domestic and sexual violence and abuse.

The Strategy is a joint strategy dealing with Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse in Northern Ireland led by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) on behalf of the Northern Ireland Executive, building on the previous successes of separate strategies Tackling Violence at Home (2005) and Tackling Sexual Violence and Abuse (2008).

The consultation document has, at its core, a vision of zero tolerance to domestic and sexual violence and abuse in our society. Victims and society need to be assured that domestic and sexual violence and abuse are recognised as a crime, and perpetrators will be called to account for their actions.

Following extensive pre-consultation engagement with individuals, organisations that have expertise in this field, and other Government Departments, the main strands of this document relate to

  • Driving change;
  • Prevention and early intervention;
  • Delivering change;
  • Support; and
  • Protection and Justice

You can find out more about the consultation, including how to respond on the DHSSPS website at the link below

Deadline for response - 11 April 2014

Consultation on measures to strengthen Northern Ireland's response to human trafficking and slavery

The Department of Justice is seeking your views on measures to strengthen Northern Ireland’s response to human trafficking and slavery. The consultation follows a review of the legislative response in Northern Ireland and takes particular account of the publication of the Home Secretary’s Modern Slavery Bill on 16 December 2013.

Key proposals include:

  • consolidation of offences, including the creation of a new offence of human trafficking to cover any type of exploitation, a new offence of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour, and the removal of the option to try slavery, servitude or forced labour cases summarily;
  • establishment of an Anti-Slavery Commissioner to challenge, scrutinise and strengthen Government and law enforcement’s response to human trafficking and slavery;
  • amendment of the sentencing framework so that human trafficking and slavery offenders may be subject to life sentences and public protection sentences ; and
  • creation of civil orders to place restrictions on individuals who have been convicted of or are involved in human trafficking or slavery offences.

You can find out more about the consultation, including how to respond on the DOJ website at the link below

Deadline for response - 15 April 2014

Consultation on Fine Collection and Enforcement in Northern Ireland

The Department of Justice is seeking your views on changes to Fine Collection and Enforcement in Northern Ireland. The consultation will build on legislation that the Department is currently creating to change the way in which fines are paid and collected in Northern Ireland.  That legislation will replace police-led enforcement with a collection and enforcement service with powers under court authority to collect and manage the payment of fines.

To date the Department’s strategy has focused on supportive solutions, helping people who might have difficulty paying fines. The intention is to now widen that strategy and take views on how to balance that preventative approach with additional options, to deter people who might actively refuse to pay.

The four additional options to improve the payment of fines are:

  • Proposals for the collection and enforcement service to access bank accounts where these could be used to clear fines;
  • Proposals to allow for the seizure of motor vehicles in certain circumstances where fines are not being paid;
  • Reviewing the position on sentence remission for fine default; and
  • Considering further ways of prioritising community based options instead of imprisonment for default.

You can find out more about the consultation, including how to respond on the DOJ website at the link below.

Deadline for response – 6 June 2014