The Domestic Abuse (Jersey) Law 2023 creates an offence of domestic abuse.
The Law contains provision for the imposition of domestic abuse protection orders and requires people who commit domestic abuse offences to provide personal information to the police. The Law was registered by the Royal Court on 5 August 2023 and will come into force on a day to be specified by the States by Act.
A person who intentionally or recklessly engages in behaviour that is domestic abuse commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of up to 5 years and to a fine. The behaviour must be abusive and must consists of more than one act (or failure to act) and the behaviour must cause, or be reasonably likely to cause, harm. In determining whether the behaviour causes harm, or is reasonably likely to cause harm, a person must look at the cumulative effect (or reasonably likely cumulative effect) of all of the acts and/or failures to act (rather than the effect of each act or failure to act in isolation).
The Law contains powerful sanctions and a domestic abuse protection order may require a person to leave their home. Article 8 of the European convention on Human Rights protects a person right to respect for their private life, family life, and home. Interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right must be necessary and proportionate and it will be interesting to see how courts will apply this provision of the law.