§ Lady Hermon
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with his colleagues in the Home Department in relation to the extension of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill to Northern Ireland. 
§ Mr. Paul Murphy
The decision to extend certain provisions of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill to NI was taken following the Northern Ireland Office's consultation exercise on tackling domestic violence, "Tackling Violence at Home" which closed on 12 December. This consultation exercise revealed widespread public support for the domestic violence provisions which are being extended to Northern Ireland. In addition the Bill includes provisions relating to trial by jury of sample counts only, which had initially been intended for inclusion in the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
Both, my right hon. Friend the Member for Warley (Mr. Spellar), Minister of State with responsibility for Crinminal Justice matters and I have corresponded at length with the Home Secretary regarding the application of provisions to Northern Ireland. Throughout this process, both my officials have been in close contact with colleagues in the Home Office regarding policy development in respect of this Bill, in order to ensure that the people of Northern Ireland are afforded the same degree of protection as in other parts of the United Kingdom.