The Model Guidelines for Sexual Offence Cases in the Caribbean Region, developed by the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) Project, will be launched in Trinidad and Tobago.
The launch is hosted by the JURIST Project in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Judiciary and takes place on Monday March 5, 2018 at 10 am at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.
Speakers at the launch will include the Honourable Mr. Justice Ivor Archie, Chief Justice of Trinidad and Tobago; the Honourable Faris Al-Rawi, M.P., the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs; and Her Excellency Carla Hogan Rufelds, High Commissioner of Canada to Trinidad and Tobago, among others.
This will be followed by a sensitisation workshop for a cross section of justice sector stakeholders in the Trinidad and Tobago, who work along the justice chain with complainants and witnesses in sexual offence cases.
It is hoped that the Guidelines will be adopted by all countries in the region and that its implementation will result in:
- speedy adjudication of cases and reduction of case backlogs over time;
- improved responses to survivors that will enable their full participation in the justice system, increase offender accountability and reduce secondary victimisation;
- a trained and skilled cadre of cross-sectional professionals including judges, court personnel, police and attorneys to efficiently respond to sexual assault cases, survivors and witnesses; and
- increased public confidence in the justice system as it relates to the handling of sexual assault cases.
Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Antigua have already launched the Guidelines, which provide internationally accepted best practices for the management of sexual offence cases, and offer a rights-based approach to the treatment of complainants and vulnerable witnesses, including children, involved in sexual assault cases. The Guidelines form part of a comprehensive approach that seeks to address issues faced at the investigative, pre-trial and adjudicatory phases, as well as offenders’ rehabilitation and management.