Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Agency Act 2023

JurisdictionIreland
Year2023
CitationIR No. 31/2023


Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Agency Act 2023

2023 31

An Act to provide for the establishment of a body to be known as An Ghníomhaireacht um Fhoréigean Baile, Gnéasach agus Inscnebhunaithe and to provide for its functions; to provide for the transfer of certain functions, staff, rights and liabilities and records of the Child and Family Agency to the said body and for those purposes to amend the Child and Family Agency Act 2013; to amend the National Archives Act 1986; and to provide for related matters.

[28 November 2023]

Be it enacted by the Oireachtas as follows:

S-1 Short title and commencement

1 Short title and commencement

(1) This Act may be cited as the Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Agency Act 2023.

(2) This Act shall come into operation on such day or days as the Minister may appoint by order or orders either generally or with reference to any particular purpose or provision and different days may be so appointed for different purposes or different provisions.

S-2 Definitions

2 Definitions

2. In this Act—

“Act of 2013” means the Child and Family Agency Act 2013;

“Agency” has the meaning assigned to it bysection 5(1);

“annual business plan” has the meaning assigned to it bysection 32(1);

“annual report” means an annual report as laid undersection 33(5);

“Board” has the meaning assigned to it bysection 7(1);

“chairperson” means the chairperson of the Board;

“chief executive” has the meaning assigned to it bysection 16(1);

“child” has the same meaning as it has in the Children Act 2001;

“committee of the Board” has the meaning assigned to it bysection 15(1);

“confidential information” includes—

(a) information that is expressed by the Agency to be confidential either as regards particular information or as regards information of a particular class or description, or

(b) proposals of a commercial nature or tenders submitted to the Agency by any person;

“education and training board” has the same meaning as it has in the Education and Training Boards Act 2013;

“enactment” has the same meaning as it has in the Interpretation Act 2005;

“establishment day” means the day appointed undersection 4;

“Irish Prison Service” means the prison service of the Department of Justice, which is charged with the management of prisons;

“local authority” has the same meaning as it has in the Local Government Act 2001;

“Minister” means the Minister for Justice;

“policy directives” has the meaning assigned to it bysection 38(5);

“prison” means a place of custody (other than a Garda Síochána station) administered by or on behalf of the Minister and includes a place—

(a) provided under section 2 of the Prisons Act 1970, and

(b) specified under section 3 of the Prisons Act 1972;

“Probation Service” means those officers of the Minister assigned to perform functions in the part of the Department of State for which the Minister is responsible, commonly known by that name;

“public service body” means—

(a) a Department of State,

(b) the Child and Family Agency,

(c) the Health Service Executive,

(d) An Garda Síochána,

(e) the Courts Service,

(f) the Irish Prison Service,

(g) the Probation Service,

(h) An tÚdarás um Ard-Oideachas,

(i) the Legal Aid Board,

(j) the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment,

(k) An tSeirbhís Oideachais Leanúnaigh agus Scileanna (Solas),

(l) a local authority,

(m) an education and training board,

(n) a designated institution of higher education within the meaning of the Higher Education Authority Act 2022,

(o) the Central Statistics Office, and

(p) a body designated undersection 42 as a public service body;

“service provider” has the meaning assigned to it bysection 40(1);

“victim” means a person who has suffered harm, including physical, mental or emotional harm or economic loss, which was directly caused by an act of domestic, sexual or gender-based violence against that person or, where that person is a child, against a parent or guardian of that person.

S-3 Expenses

3 Expenses

3. The expenses incurred by the Minister in the administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

S-4 Establishment day

4 Establishment day

4. The Minister shall, by order, appoint a day to be the establishment day for the purposes of this Act.

S-5 Establishment of Agency

5 Establishment of Agency

(1) There shall stand established on the establishment day a body which shall be known as An Ghníomhaireacht um Fhoréigean Baile, Gnéasach agus Inscnebhunaithe (in this Act referred to as the “Agency”) to perform the functions conferred on it by or under this Act.

(2) The Agency shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and an official seal, and with the power—

(a)

to sue and be sued in its corporate name, and

(b)

to acquire, hold and dispose of land, an interest in land, or any other property with the consent of the Minister and the Minister for Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform.

(3) The Agency shall provide itself with a seal as soon as practicable after the establishment day and the seal shall be authenticated by—

(a)

the signatures of both the chief executive and a member of the Board authorised by the Board to act in that behalf, or

(b)

the signatures of both—

(i) such member of the staff of the Agency as is authorised by the chief executive to act in that behalf, and

(ii) a member of the Board authorised by the Board to act in that behalf.

(4) Judicial notice shall be taken of the seal of the Agency and any document purporting to be an instrument made by the Agency, and to be sealed with the seal of the Agency authenticated in accordance with subsection (3), shall, unless the contrary is shown, be evidence of that instrument without further proof.

(5) Any contract or instrument which, if entered into or executed by an individual, would not require to be under seal may be entered into or executed on behalf of the Agency by any person authorised by the Agency in that behalf.

S-6 Functions of Agency

6 Functions of Agency

(1) The Agency shall have the following functions:

(a)

to plan, coordinate and monitor the development of refuge accommodation for victims of domestic, sexual or gender-based violence;

(b)

to provide support to service providers, including financial assistance, for the provision by them of—

(i) services delivered in refuge accommodation and other services for victims and persons at risk of domestic, sexual or gender-based violence, and

(ii) programmes with the purpose of preventing, and reducing the incidence of, such violence;

(c)

where so requested by the Minister, to prepare, and submit for the approval of the Minister, standards for the provision of the services referred to inparagraph (b)(i) and the programmes referred to in paragraph (b)(ii);

(d)

to monitor adherence by service providers to the standards referred to inparagraph (c);

(e)

to compile and publish information regarding the availability of the refuge accommodation referred to inparagraph (a) and the services and programmes referred to in paragraph (b);

(f)

to develop and implement public campaigns, and provide advice or support in relation to the development of public campaigns by public service bodies and other persons, for the purposes of—

(i) increasing awareness of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence and the associated risk factors, and

(ii) reducing the incidence of such forms of violence;

(g)

where requested by the Minister, to provide him or her with—

(i) such assistance as he or she may require in the development or evaluation of strategies and plans in relation to domestic, sexual or gender-based violence, and

(ii) in such form and frequency as the Minister may specify, reports on the implementation of such strategies and plans;

(h)

to coordinate, oversee and provide advice and support, as appropriate, in relation to the implementation by public service bodies of the strategies and plans referred to inparagraph (g);

(i)

to undertake, commission, assist or collaborate in research (including the collection, compilation and assessment of statistical data) to support the evaluation of policies, strategies and services relating to domestic, sexual or gender-based violence and to support generally the effective performance by the Agency of its other functions under this Act or any other enactment;

(j)

such additional functions as are conferred on it undersubsection (5).

(2) In performing its functions, the Agency shall—

(a)

collaborate with any person that the Agency considers appropriate in relation to any matter connected with the functions of the Agency,

(b)

engage with, and consider recommendations from, public service bodies, international bodies, persons with expertise in the area of domestic, sexual or gender-based violence, persons in receipt of the services or programmes referred to insubsection (1)(b) and the general public,

(c)

have regard to the diverse circumstances and needs of victims and persons at risk of domestic, sexual or gender-based violence (including children and young persons),

(d)

have regard to the policies and objectives of the Minister and the Government in so far as those policies and objectives may affect, or relate to, the functions of the Agency, and

(e)

have regard to the resources available to the Agency and the need to secure the most beneficial, effective and efficient use of those resources.

(3) The Agency shall act through, and its functions shall be performed in the name of the Agency by, the chief executive.

(4) The Agency shall have all such powers as are necessary or expedient for the performance by it of its functions.

(5) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure, National Development Plan Delivery and Reform, by order confer on the Agency such additional functions connected with its existing functions as the Minister considers to be appropriate, subject to...

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