31. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when the Istanbul Convention will be ratified and implemented here; the action that will be taken to address domestic violence further; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6991/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): My intention is to seek Government approval for Ireland to sign the Istanbul Convention this year. This is a matter of priority for me.
My Department has been working to establish precisely the actions which would need to be taken in order to ratify and implement the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence - the Istanbul convention.
As the Deputy may be aware, I intend to bring the General Scheme of a consolidated bill on domestic violence to Government this year which will strengthen our protections in relation to such violence and along with other legislative amendments underway in my Department will assist in Ireland ratifying the convention.
Other legislation under development in my department which will assist us in becoming fully compliant with the provisions of the convention includes legislation to transpose the EU Victims of Crime Directive.
A further measure under development in my Department which will take cognisance of the requirements of the convention is a new strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence for 2015 onwards.