How to bring in the proposed new powers of the police and courts against suspected abuse will be the remit of an implementation board to be set up by the Scottish Government.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf committed to setting up the board in his response to the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee, which voiced serious concerns about the new bill in its stage 1 report. (Click here for news item.)

The Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill would bring in domestic abuse protection notices and orders (DAPNs and DAPOs) – short term orders to be made by the police and courts respectively, putting restrictions on suspected perpetrators of domestic abuse, and measures to allow social landlords to remove suspected perpetrators of domestic abuse from tenancies. 

In its report the committee highlighted issues raised by legal bodies and the police with the drafting of the bill, which could mean its powers are not regularly used, or prove difficult to use in practice.

Mr Yousaf said that if the bill was passed, the Government-led board would oversee preparations for the new system of orders, involving key partners including Police Scotland. It would consider a number of the issues concerning the practical operation of the scheme that were highlighted by the Justice Committee.

"I expect that the implementation board will carefully consider what guidance and training is required for police officers and others", he wrote. "I can confirm that the operational processes required to enable an application for a DAPO to be prepared in line with the timescale set out in the bill will be considered by the implementation board".

It would also consider the contents of the prevention notice and the exact mechanism or mechanisms by which the person at risk would make representations or otherwise provide their views to the court.

Click here to view the Justice Secretary's full response.