Country Antigua and Barbuda
Year 2019
Type of Measure Justice > Protocols and guidelines
Form of Violence Sexual violence

Brief Description

The Sexual Offences Model Court (SOMC) was established by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda with the support from the Government of Canada through the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) Project; and with the support from Caribbean Court of Justice. The Court is a set of specialized court procedures for the treatment of sexual offence cases including a dedicated courtroom and presiding judge assigned to the hearing of sexual offences. It aims to ensure that victims of Gender-Based Sexual Violence (GBSV) have access to justice and reparation by providing timely, gender responsive, and coordinated  response  to complainants of sexual assault cases;  ensuring greater coordination between the courts and agencies that provide services to sexual  assault  complainants;  improving  the  monitoring  and  evaluation  of  sexual  offence  cases;  and  reducing the secondary revictimization that complainants experience. 

The special procedures implemented by the court include tighter pre-trial management for the  quicker resolution of cases, fast tracking process for sexual offence cases, assigning only judges,  court administrators, police and prosecutors, with specialized training to sexual offence cases,  using video conferencing technology to allow vulnerable complainants to give evidence from a  remote  testimony  room,  the  provision  of a  special waiting  room at  the High  Court and  court  orientation for complainants in sexual assault cases; and integrating the support services offered  by  the Directorate of Gender Affairs ( DoGA)  [Support and Referral Centre (SARC)]  and  the Family and Social Services Division (FSSD)  to  both  adult  and  child  complainants.  This  will  allow  complainants  to give  their  report, conduct  their medical examination, get counselling, and be assigned survivor advocates. All these services will be available at the SARC, which is operated by DoGA.

Source of Information

Antigua and Barbuda's submission for National Review for Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, Beijing+25, 2019, p.17