- Landmark Bill provides new legal protections for victims of domestic violence.
Today (Friday, 15th December), the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, T.D., introduced the Domestic Violence Bill 2017 into the Dáil for Second Stage debate.  
Minister Flanagan stated:  “The Domestic Violence Bill 2017 is a very important piece of legislation that I am pleased to be introducing to the House today. 
The purpose of this Bill is to consolidate and reform the law on domestic violence to provide better protection for victims.  The Bill also includes provisions to enable Ireland to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, more commonly known as the Istanbul Convention. 
The Bill is part of a larger package of measures aimed at dealing with the scourge of domestic violence in our community.  
The enactment of the Domestic Violence Bill is a key part of the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2016-2021.  As part of this strategy, the Government is running a 6-year national awareness campaign called “What would you do?” which aims to bring about a change in long-established societal behaviours and attitudes to domestic and sexual violence. 
In developing the Domestic Violence Bill, my Department and my colleague Minister Stanton have engaged closely with groups who support victims of domestic violence.  I would like to acknowledge the work being done by these organisations. The support and assistance that they offer to victims is hugely valuable to people who find themselves in extremely vulnerable situations.”
The main improvements to the law contained in the Domestic Violence Bill are as follows: 
In conclusion, Minister Flanagan said: “I believe that this legislation will help to improve the protection of the law for victims of domestic violence, as it puts the needs of victims first and foremost, and I hope that the Bill will be enacted as early as possible.”