Landmark law on domestic abuse comes into force in Scotland

01 Apr 2019

The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 comes into force today, creating a new crime of engaging in a course of abusive behaviour towards a partner or ex-partner intended to cause either physical or psychological harm or being reckless towards those consequences.

Caroline Gillespie, partner and head of family law at BLM, explains: “Abusive behaviour, which may cause psychological harm, is behaviour which causes the victim to be dependent on or subordinate to the perpetrator. It can involve regulating, controlling or monitoring day to day activities, depriving or restricting freedom of action or acting in a way which frightens, humiliates, degrades or punishes. It also covers isolating the victim from friends, family and support. This type of behaviour could not easily be prosecuted under previous law.

Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC, recently commented that the Act will “enable prosecution of cases we know cause real, lasting psychological harm to victims and to children.

For more on this groundbreaking news and Caroline's thoughts, click here to read The Scotsman article and here to access the coverage from Scottish Legal News.

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Disclaimer: This document does not present a complete or comprehensive statement of the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight issues that may be of interest to customers of BLM. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in any particular case.

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Caroline Gillespie

Caroline Gillespie

Head of Family Law team and partner in Scotland,
Glasgow


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