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Deployment of the Pilot Project Specialized Court in Sexual or Domestic Violence

QUEBEC , March 25, 2022

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Quebec, Mr. Simon Jolin-Barrette, accompanied by the Minister for Education and responsible for the Status of Women, Ms. Isabelle Charest, as well as the MNA for Beauharnois, Mr. Claude Reid , is launching today the first pilot project for a court specializing in sexual violence and domestic violence at the Salaberry-de-Valleyfield courthouse.

The specialized court pilot project brings several changes aimed at better meeting the needs and realities of victims of sexual violence and domestic violence, including:

  • improving the spaces within the courthouse in order to make them safer and more secure for the victim and to allow them to circulate without encountering the accused person;
  • setting up a room for victims;
  • Access to testimonial aids, such as screens and videoconferencing rooms.

Victims will be able to benefit from the support and accompaniment of specialized interveners from various local organizations, before, during and after the legal process. The same prosecutor will monitor the progress of the file throughout the proceedings, while a worker from the Center d’aide aux victims d’actescriminales (CAVAC) will be assigned to each victim of way to accompany the victim throughout their journey. It will then be possible to adapt the accompaniment to the reality of the victim, to direct them to the specialized resources that can meet their needs, and to avoid the victim from repeating their story several times.

All participating parties working in the specialized court will also be trained and equipped to understand the reality of victims and meet their needs. Training will actually be offered to anyone likely to come into contact with a victim within the specialized court.

Remember that the pilot projects will make it possible to optimize best practices and assess the impact of the specialized court model in different contexts before deploying it throughout Quebec.

To contribute to improvement, training for lawyers and awareness raising for judges will also help victims in their reporting process. Some 500 lawyers from the bar have already started or completed this training.

Sources : Government of Quebec
  Journal Le Devoir