Claire Edgar guest presenter at European Conference on Domestic Violence in Iceland

18 September 2023

Our Family Law Partner Claire Edgar was a guest presenter at this year’s European Conference on Domestic Violence in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The Conference is in its fifth year having previously been hosted in Belfast, Porto, Oslo and Ljubljana. It provides an opportunity for professionals and policy makers from Europe and beyond along with researchers to share experiences on a wide range of issues concerning domestic violence.

This year’s Conference focussed on the theme of ‘precarity’ with both the COVID 19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine motivating discussion on the barriers faced in tackling domestic violence within our societies.

In her presentation Claire, alongside Family Law barrister Grainne Murphy BL, outlined the Northern Ireland Courts’ response to applications for protective Orders by victims of domestic abuse during and post COVID.

Claire comments: 

“I was delighted to be invited to speak at this year’s European Conference on Domestic Violence having attended and spoken at previous conferences.

The COVID 19 public health guidelines in Northern Ireland to “stay at home” meant that many victims of domestic violence could not escape from the abuse which they were suffering at home. Rather than being a safe place to keep them away from the harm of the pandemic, it was a place of increased risk of abuse.  

Despite this, the number of victims getting Court protection in NI during and post COVID fell dramatically. The increasing refusal by the Courts to grant emergency Orders meant that victims were not being protected and that perpetrators were not accountable for their actions.

The theme of this year’s Conference provided a great opportunity to explore how changes to the application of the law by the NI Courts resulted in various legal challenges on the Court’s refusal to protect victims.”  

If you require any advice or assistance in relation to domestic abuse, Claire can be contacted via email on or via phone on 028 9024 3901