Alberta brings in Clare’s Law, which allows access to intimate partner’s criminal records

Alberta is the second province to bring in a law that could help people at risk of domestic violence learn about their intimate partner’s criminal record.

The legislation, Disclosure to Protect Against Domestic Violence Act, which is informally known as Clare’s Law, comes into effect Thursday.

Read more: Alberta introduces ‘Clare’s Law’ bill that will allow access to partner’s criminal records

A similar law came into force last June in Saskatchewan.

It allows people who feel they may be at risk to apply for information related to a current or former partner’s potential risk for domestic violence.

Read more: Clare’s Law in Saskatchewan used handful of times; RCMP review their role

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Police can also choose to warn potential victims if they feel they are in danger.

“Alberta continues to experience high rates of family violence that have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Leela Sharon Aheer, minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women.

“That’s why it is imperative that we were able to move forward with Clare’s Law, so we can arm Albertans with knowledge that can keep them safe.

“This is an important step forward in helping address and prevent gender-based violence, and creating a safer province for us all.”

Read more: Domestic, intimate partner violence reports continue to rise during COVID-19 pandemic

The legislation was initiated in the United Kingdom and is named after Clare Wood, a woman who was murdered in 2009 by a partner she didn’t know had a violent criminal history.

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