Legislation / Legal

MoJ: Victims of domestic violence will receive extra help & support from six new specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVCs) (adding to the 98 already in existence). The new courts will be in Wales, the East Midlands, North East, North West and South East.
These courts work by bringing together trained & dedicated criminal justice staff with enhanced expertise in dealing with domestic violence, including magistrates specially trained in dealing with domestic violence cases. By clustering cases on a particular day, all agencies are able to focus their specialist resources.
Press release ~ DV mini-website ~ National Delivery Plan for Domestic Violence ~ Specialist Domestic Violence Court Programme Resource Manual ~ Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence ~ Specialist Domestic Violence Review (2007) ~ Sexual Assault Referral Centres ~ Early evaluation of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 ~ Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 ~ Home Affairs Select Committee Report: Domestic Violence, Forced Marriage and ‘Honour’- Based Violence
HM Treasury: The Government has announced new rules to help protect homeowners, who may be facing the threat of repossession.  New court protocols will help make repossessions a last resort and the Government is proposing that companies engaged in sale & rent back schemes, which may target vulnerable home owners, should be brought under FSA regulation.
The Master of the Rolls has approved the Civil Justice Council's new protocol for the courts in mortgage repossession cases, which sets out clear guidance on the steps that lenders are expected to take before bringing a claim in the courts to ensure that repossessions are a last resort.
Lenders will now be expected to demonstrate that they have tried to discuss & agree alternatives to repossession when borrowers get into trouble with their mortgage repayments.  If a case reaches court, lenders will be required to tell the court precisely what they have done to comply with the protocol.
Press release ~ Ensuring a fair housing market for all ~ OFT market study on the sale and rent back sector ~ Civil Justice Council
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