UCP proposes Clare’s Law

Photo By: Concha García Hernández [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)Photo By: Concha García Hernández [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)

Jason Kenney, the party leader for the United Conservative Party (UCP), stated that if elected, the UCP would introduce legislation that would allow police to disclose the criminal records of potentially abusive partners. [1]

Kenney stated that safety is the primary goal of this legislation in Alberta. [2]

“Let’s hope guys like that have changed themselves and are no longer abusive, but the women they are intimate with have a right to know about that individual’s criminal history,” he said. [3]

This law would also apply to men looking into their partners history. [4]

The proposed legislation is modelled after the UK’s Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, more commonly known as Clare’s Law. It is named after Clare Wood, a women who was killed in England in 2009 by her partner who was known to have a violent past (including having served six years for holding a woman captive at knifepoint for 12 hours). [5]

Saskatchewan was the first Canadian province to enact such a legislation in 2018. The legislation was aimed at curbing the province’s high domestic violence rates. [6] The legislation would allow a partner, friend or relative to request background information, but only the person potentially at risk would be allowed to see it. [7]

The Justice Minister of the Saskatchewan party, Don Morgan, stated that it would not be mandatory for police to give the information requested. A committee would help decide which cases would warrant information to be released. [8]

Alberta’s Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley pointed to recent votes in the legislature in which the UCP caucus voted against justice funding which included supports for domestic and sexual assault survivors. [9]

“I’m happy to see that Mr. Kenney is willing to talk about women’s issues, but I hope he’s willing to talk about women’s issues on other days and follow that up with necessary investments,” she said. [10]

This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the view of the CCLA or PBSC. 

[1] https://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/ucp-proposes-clares-law-legislation-allowing-domestic-violence-records-to-be-released

[2] ibid 

[3] ibid 

[4] ibid 

[5] ibid 

[6] https://leaderpost.com/news/politics/police-will-be-able-to-give-personal-info-about-violent-behaviour-to-intimate-parters

[7] ibid

[8] ibid

[9] supra note 1

[10] ibid