NI: Belfast lawyer addresses domestic violence conference

Claire Edgar
Claire Edgar

Claire Edgar, partner at Belfast firm Francis Hanna & Co Solicitors, addressed the Belfast Domestic Violence Partnership conference this month.

A wide range of professional delegates attended the conference at Belfast Castle, where Ms Edgar presented a summary of the legal procedures available for victims of domestic violence, focussing in particular on the legal protections available under the Family Homes and Domestic Violence Order (NI) 1998.

Ms Edgar is a member of the Partnership, which brings together solicitors and agencies including Women’s Aid, the PSNI, the Social Security Agency and the NI Courts and Tribunals Service.

She told Irish Legal News: “We had found that practitioners working with families experiencing domestic abuse are often challenged by the complexity of the legal options and remedies available to victims. Also many victims do not know or understand the legal options available to them and are confused and intimidated by the legal processes.

“In response to these challenges we developed a document setting out Legal Remedies for domestic violence in Northern Ireland.

“In September 2015 we presented this at the European Conference of Domestic Violence and received very positive feedback particularly from the delegation of Kosovo Judges who are developing legal remedies in their own jurisdiction.

“More recently we presented on Legal Remedies at Belfast Castle to professionals who deal with victims of domestic abuse.”

A further seminar is scheduled to take place at the East Belfast Network Centre on 10 March 2016.

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