I and my Government colleagues are totally committed to tackling violence against women and domestic violence. The Programme for Government commits to full implementation of the Istanbul Convention.
The actions necessary to ratify the Istanbul Convention are contained in the Second National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2016-2021, published in January, 2016.
The implementation of most of these actions is underway including public sector training/education by a range of State agencies, the development of a Risk Assessment Matrix by An Garda Síochána, and commissioning of national helpline services to respond to issues of domestic and sexual violence.
The outstanding actions are legislative and require delivery of two pieces of legislation:
i) The Domestic Violence Bill which was published on 3 February 2017. The Bill has passed all stages in the Seanad and Second Stage in the Dáil. Committee stage is expected to commence shortly in the Dáil. It is hoped that this Bill will be enacted in the near future. The enactment of this legislation is key to advancing the ratification of the Istanbul Convention as its enactment will deliver four of the actions required under the Convention.
iii) The one remaining legislative action is the enactment of legislation for extraterritorial jurisdiction. Work on this action is underway and it is anticipated that this legislation will be published in the first half of 2018.
When the required legislative actions are implemented, Ireland will be in a position to ratify the Convention.