Domestic abuse: justice partners group - terms of reference

Terms of reference for the Domestic Abuse Justice Partners Group.


To regularly convene a group of Justice partners to hold focused discussions on the collectively informed response to the recommendations of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018: Interim Reporting Requirement and to present a clearer narrative and understanding of the work being undertaken to tackle domestic abuse across the justice sector.

These discussions will recognise and reflect upon the initiatives that have been progressed by partner organisations and interested parties. The group will be expected to engage with stakeholders and those with lived experience as part of their consideration, as appropriate. 

The group will undertake a range of thematic discussions. This will include looking at:

  • improving the evidence base
  • improving victim experience
  • tackling perpetrators
  • improving multi agency working
  • early intervention/prevention and changing societal attitudes


The group will deal with the following matters:

  • recognising and reflecting upon the initiatives being undertaken by partner organisations, and addressing concerns raised in recent research reports in so far appropriate and applicable
  • presenting a clear narrative of work being completed to tackle domestic abuse across the Justice sector more widely. Sharing with partners relevant discussions and progress
  • seeking additional expert advice from wider partners as required
  • noting any actions allocated to members and completing these within agreed timeframes
  • advising if they are unable to attend a meeting and where possible nominating an appropriate deputy


Outputs of the group’s discussions will be communicated to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs, and Criminal Justice Committee as appropriate (and where agreed by the group). 


  • Scottish Government (SG) 
  • Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) 
  • Police Scotland (PS)
  • Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (SCTS)
  • The Judicial Institute for Scotland 

The members listed above is not exhaustive and the Domestic Abuse Justice Partners Group may invite relevant individuals to provide input on particular issues as required.  

Meeting frequency 

The group will meet on a quarterly basis from 29 August 2023 onwards. Meetings will take place in person within St Andrews House, Edinburgh or within other Scottish Government buildings.

Work and communication will continue between meetings to ensure progress and momentum is maintained.


  • meeting notes will be taken during the meeting and then written up by a member of the VAWG SG team. A completed copy of the notes will be circulated before the following meeting for comments and approval from the group members
  • a note of actions will also be recorded which will set out who is responsible for taking forward each action, agreed timescales and reporting routes
  • an agenda will be sent out in advance of the meeting
  • a member of the VAWG SG team will determine the date/time of meetings based upon a consensus from the group
  • Scottish Government officials will report to and advise Scottish Ministers of the work of the group
  • the secretariat will also look to manage media enquiries around the work of the group and provide updates as requested. Members of the group will be advised in so far as possible, when this occurs and provided with appropriate details
Back to top