ontario news watch

At-risk Newfoundlanders and Labradorians can now get details on partner’s history

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A law is now in force in Newfoundland and Labrador allowing those at risk of domestic violence to get information from police about their partner’s history.

Justice Minister John Hogan told reporters today that Newfoundland and Labrador is the third province to enact such a law, after Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Known as Clare’s Law, the new rules allow people to seek the information from police, and they allow police to proactively disclose those details to anyone judged to be at risk.

Those who feel they could be harmed can fill out a detailed online application that police will assess for risk factors.

Police will then ask the person to meet with them, ideally in person, to discuss their risk level and, if warranted, to disclose information about their partner.

Malin Enstrom, executive director of the Iris Kirby House women’s shelter, in St. John’s, says she knows of several cases that may have been helped by the new law, had it been in place.

Clare’s Law is named after Clare Wood, a British woman murdered in 2009 by a partner who had a violent criminal history that was unknown until after her death.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 2, 2023.

The Canadian Press