23 May 2019
Shazia Choudhry, Professor of Law at the Queen Mary University of London, has been appointed as a Specialist Adviser to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill.
Professor Choudhry will be advising the committee broadly on domestic abuse and human rights law, particularly the Istanbul Convention. Professor Choudhry said: “I am delighted to accept this appointment. The Bill will introduce for the first time, a statutory definition of domestic abuse, measures to address coercive control and economic abuse, and take into account how domestic abuse affects children.”
The Joint Parliamentary Committee is constituted by members from the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Having first met in March, it is currently reviewing the draft bill on domestic abuse and taking evidence from a wide variety of sources and stakeholders, and is expected to complete its deliberations by 14 June 2019.
In 2018 Professor Choudhry partnered with Women’s Aid to produce a research report which found that Survivors of domestic abuse face a lack of protections within family courts. “This Bill is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the response in the justice system and address domestic abuse. It is imperative that the Government gets this right. I am therefore pleased to have the opportunity to lend my expertise to in assisting in the pre-legislative scrutiny of the Bill,” Professor Choudhry said.
Professor Choudhry’s appointment as an advisor to this committee follows a string of similar appointments, including giving evidence to an All Party Parliamentary Group hearing on Domestic Violence at the House of Commons (2015, 2018) and her appointment as Specialist Adviser to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights Inquiry into Violence against Women in 2014 – 15. She is also a member of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Violence Against Women External Consultation Group.