The Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence (GBV&DV) Act of 2018 was adopted as a pursuant to the Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence Strategy and Action Plan of 2017. The main objective of this Act is to fully integrate and implement the provisions of the Istanbul Convention in national law, repeal and replace the Domestic Violence Act with a stronger and wider-reaching legislation, and amend various other important laws in order to ensure that adequate, sufficient protection is available to victims of violence, and ensure that justice is made with regard to perpetrators of such violence. Overall, this legislation has introduced various new elements aimed at providing better protection for victims of violence. The Act came into effect on 14 May 2018.
The main changes brought about by this new legislation include the establishment of the new Commission on Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence, which replaced the Commission on Domestic Violence by giving the Commission additional responsibilities and a wider mandate; a coordinated Action Plan for the relevant bodies and service providers; the full enforcement of the Istanbul Convention in Maltese Law, and a considerable number of amendments to various laws to broaden the protection provided to victims of GBV&DV.
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