Monday, July 15, 2024

CJ Koome endorses renaming SBGV Court to Gender Justice Court

Chief Justice Martha Koome has endorsed a proposal to rename the SBGV Court to the Gender Justice Court.

The new name which reflects a survivor-centred approach will specialise in dealing with matters Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) efficiently.

“The survivor-centred plan in the Gender Justice Court is necessary because it places the rights, needs, safety, dignity and well-being of survivors at the centre of all prevention and response measures concerning SGBV.

The overarching aim is to have specialised courts designed to address cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) efficiently and sensitively. These courts are a response to the pressing need for a justice system that is informed by the traumatic impacts of SGBV and prioritises the safety, dignity and rights of survivors and those affected by these crimes.

The goal is for the 12 gazetted Gender Justice Courts countrywide to be equipped with facilities that ensure the comfort and safety of survivors. The Judiciary is also committed to facilitating access to comprehensive support services for survivors, including legal aid, counselling, medical care and social support.

These services are crucial for helping survivors recover while they navigate the legal process. It is a matter of priority to implement the Social Transformation through Access to Justice (STAJ) SGBV Strategy.

Magistrates and court staff working in these courts will receive specialised training on SGBV issues. This training will cover legal aspects, sensitivity in handling survivors, understanding the dynamics of abuse, and the importance of a supportive court environment.” said CJ Koome

According to Koome, the court will offer counselling before and after court cases as it prioritizes confidentiality and privacy of the victims.

“The aim is also for the court personnel to receive requisite counselling before, during and after hearing these matters. The Gender Justice Courts will prioritise the confidentiality and privacy of the proceedings to protect the identity and dignity of survivors.

These courts are expected to deliver on the Judiciary‚Äôs promise to ensure people-focused justice in collaboration with other critical actors under the National Council on the Administration of Justice (NCAJ). Survivors should not be re-victimised through judicial processes.” she said

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