Antigua and Barbuda will be the very first Caribbean country to establish a Sexual Offenses Court, the government has announced.
It means that people who are charged with a sexual offense will have their matters more quickly adjudicated in a courthouse that is separate from the Magistrates’ Court.
“Youthful citizens who have been violated will also not have to face their accused tormentors, under the legislation adopted,” said Chief of Staff Lionel Hurst.
He noted that questioning can take place via video-conferencing.
The model court is to be supervised by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and the resources for its operation will come from UNDP and UNIFEM.
There are currently 295 cases of sexual offenses before the Antigua and Barbuda court, several dating back to 2012.