Plans on track for model Sexual Offences Court

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Plans are on track for Antigua and Barbuda to set up a model court that will specifically handle all sexual offences within another few months.
Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, told OBSERVER media on Tuesday, that the twin-island state has received the necessary approvals.
The Multi-Sector Stakeholder Committee for the Sexual Offences Model Court also had its first meeting at the High Court in Antigua and Barbuda late last week.
Benjamin said the model court forms part of a comprehensive approach to the management of sexual
assault cases and the provision of support for complainants and witnesses, including children. He also said the main goal of the model court is to provide timely, gender-responsive and coordinated responses to complainants and vulnerable witnesses in sexual offence cases.
“The whole objective is to ensure that matters of a sexual nature are dealt with expeditiously. In the Caribbean, generally, it is noted that some cases take as long as five to 10 years to be called, that’s not justice.
“It was thought therefore that we should get the court established to see whether we can dispense with matters of a sexual nature within 18 months. Antigua because of its infrastructure and its advance dealings in operations of the court, has been chosen as the area for a Model Sexual Offences Court,” Benjamin said.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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