Status: Bill 17 received royal assent on October 30, 2019
Ministry responsible: Community and Social Services

Overview

Bill 17: Disclosure to Protect Against Domestic Violence (Clare's Law) Act allows people at risk of domestic violence to find out if their intimate partner has a violent or abusive past. It also allows police to proactively inform someone of their partner’s domestic violence history.

Alberta has the third highest domestic violence rates among Canadian provinces. Half of all young women and girls who are victims of domestic violence homicide are murdered by someone with a prior conviction.

The act is modelled after “Clare’s Law” in the United Kingdom, named after a young woman killed by an ex-boyfriend with a history of violence against women.

This is a new tool to prevent domestic violence by helping people make informed choices about potentially harmful relationships.

Key details

Bill 17 allows:

  • The right to ask: People at risk can find out if their partner has a history of domestic violence or other relevant acts, in defined circumstances.
  • The right to know: Police can take a proactive approach to violence prevention by disclosing relevant information to people at risk, without an application.
  • The right to privacy: People can trust that their personal information will be safeguarded and only relevant details will be disclosed.

Next steps

Work will continue with stakeholders to:

  • ensure personal information is safeguarded
  • develop regulations and protocols
  • ensure application processes and subsequent supports are coordinated efficiently

Bill 17 comes into force upon proclamation in 2020.

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