June 1, 2006
MONCTON (CNB) - A new and innovative approach by the legal system to address issues of domestic violence was the topic of a discussion panel held today in Moncton.
Judges and court professionals from two provinces and one territory shared their experiences with specialized domestic violence courts. These types of courts have existed for a number of years in other parts of Canada.
"New Brunswick will be the first province in Atlantic Canada to take this innovative and effective approach when the first domestic violence court pilot project opens later this year," said Justice and Consumer Affairs Minister Bruce Fitch. "The domestic violence court is a key element in government's comprehensive approach to breaking the cycle of violence against women, and protecting children from growing up witnessing violence in the home. We're very pleased to be able to work in partnership with the judiciary on this project."
The panel discussion provided the opportunity for members of the judiciary, the legal and policing professions, the media and the public to hear about the experiences of how the domestic violence court works in other areas of Canada.
"New Brunswick's specialized domestic violence court model will be based on New Brunswick needs, and will address issues of concern such as timeliness in getting these cases before a judge and getting access to justice remedies such as peace bonds," said Joan MacAlpine-Stiles, minister responsible for the status of women. "The court model also incorporates holistic interventions for all affected, including treatment for the perpetrator with court-monitored accountability and programs and support for women and their children."
All professionals connected with the court will receive specialized training in domestic violence.
The creation of a domestic violence court is one of the key initiatives of the action plan A Better World for Women: Moving Forward 2005-2010.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Valerie Kilfoil, communications, Justice and Consumer Affairs, 506-453-6543; Danielle McFarlane, communications, Women's Issues Branch, 506-444-4454.