AO Advocates and Advocates for Awareness of Watchtower Abuses (AAWA) receive response from 10 Downing Street to their ‘two-witness rule’ campaign

The Home Office has responded to our recent ‘two-witness rule’ campaign calling for the Jehovah’s Witnesses to introduce mandatory reporting of complaints of child sexual abuse, which included delivering a letter to 10 Downing Street on 2nd October 2015. The government’s reply states that it has “made a clear commitment to consult fully on possible new requirements relating to reporting and acting on child abuse. The commitment was made during the passage of the Serious Crime Bill in Parliament, and to report back to Parliament on the outcomes within 18 months of Royal Assent of the Serious Crime Act (i.e. by September 2016).”

The consultation process, which is being organised by the Home Office and the Department for Education, will be launched before March 2016. The government has invited AO Advocates and AAWA to “respond to the consultation exercise, once launched, so that Ministers can draw on the widest possible range of views before considering final proposals.”

Kathleen Hallisey, Senior Associate at AO Advocates, says: “We look forward to participating in the consultation exercise and are hopeful that mandatory reporting will soon become law in the UK.”