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The House of Assembly passed “Clare’s Law” on Wednesday, starting the government on a 12-month process to develop regulations to protect people at risk of intimate partner violence.

Bill 8, officially known as “An Act Respecting Disclosure of Information Under an Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Protocol,” passed third reading in the House on Wednesday morning. The bill is designed to give police agencies the ability to release relevant information about a person’s abusive history to their partner who is determined to be at risk.

Justice Minister Andrew Parsons says his department will work with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and other stakeholder groups to develop the protocol and regulations over the coming year.

This legislation is more commonly known as “Clare’s Law,” which was first introduced in the United Kingdom and named in honour of Clare Wood, a woman who was murdered by her partner and was unaware of his violent past. Clare’s father fought for an initiative that would release relevant information about prior criminal history to intimate partners who are at risk.

“This legislation complements our government’s efforts to help make Newfoundland and Labrador a safer place for women and girls,” Parsons said in a statement. “We know this protocol will not eliminate gender based violence, but I strongly believe it will help reduce the rates of domestic violence in our communities.”

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