Scepticism over proposed GBV courts

15 October 2020 | Justice

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK



Experts are sceptic about government's proposed gender-based-violence (GBV) court system, saying it may not be cost-effective and may be counter-productive.

Government on Tuesday announced a string of interventions to combat increasing incidents of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), which includes the deployment of 24/7 armed patrols as well as the establishment of SGBV offences courts.

However, Dianne Hubbard from the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) is not convinced this will be cost-effective.

“I would prefer to see GBV cases fast-tracked and sensitively treated in all courts in Namibia. For instance, the victim-friendly facilities already available are reportedly not well-utilised. And GBV cases are not being fast-tracked - not even those involving child victims. Can specialised courts work if we are not even using the tools we already have?” she asked. Another concern, Hubbard added, is that specialised courts might be set up only in major urban centres, as is the case with children's courts.

“GBV victims in all regions should have access to speedy, expert, sensitive handling of their cases.”

University of Namibia lecturer Immaculate Mogotsi said priority should be given to existing structures.

“Sometimes you hear some of these children's courts are not in working order. Or the victims cannot attend the court hearings because of the distance from where they live. We may be bogged down by many systems, while we should just streamline the systems we have in place already,” she said.



Police patrols

Mogotsi is worried that the proposed police patrols may be problematic and that police officers may harm civilians, as was the case with crime prevention unit, Operation Kalahari Desert.

Hubbard said these patrols should focus on SGBV victims with protection orders. According to her, that would make the protection orders more meaningful.

“Women who have suffered abuse should not be further disempowered. They should rather be supported and counselled and protected so that they feel comfortable to proceed with a criminal case. I agree with the government response on this,” she said.



Long overdue

Hubbard added that the need to capacitate forensic investigators and experts has been pointed out for a long time.

“One idea which has been discussed for a long time without moving forward is to train a cadre of forensic nurses to collect GBV evidence as other countries have successfully done,” she said.

According to Hubbard, another challenge is that it is not always possible to reach the person who is supposed to be available after hours at the GBV unit.

She argued that the operation of these units needs to be assessed to see whether they are really giving the specialised, skilled and sensitive response envisaged.

[email protected]

Similar News

 

Katiti's lawsuit to be heard in May 2021

1 day - 26 November 2020 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKThe lawsuit in which Augustinus Katiti is suing his former employer, the Namibia Institute of Pathology, will be heard in May 2021, High Court...

Redforce back in business

4 days ago - 23 November 2020 | Justice

Kenya Kambowe RUNDU Redforce Debt Management and the Rundu town council have reached a settlement agreement which will allow the debt...

Fishrot: Iyambo sentenced to nine months

1 week ago - 20 November 2020 | Justice

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKJason Iyambo, who was arrested in January for attempting to bribe an...

Judiciary rejects corruption allegations

1 week ago - 19 November 2020 | Justice

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has rejected allegations of corruption in...

Manager in viral video resigns

1 week ago - 19 November 2020 | Justice

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKA G4S Security Services manager, who was sued for N$1 million in connection with an altercation in November last year, has resigned.Namibian Sun has...

Shortage of magistrates must be addressed

1 week ago - 19 November 2020 | Justice

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKChief Justice Peter Shivute says the shortage of magistrates has greatly affected access to justice in the country, especially in remote areas.Shivute said this...

Criminal justice system irks public

1 week ago - 18 November 2020 | Justice

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKChief Justice Petrus Shivute has highlighted several issues in the criminal justice...

Fishrot briber pleads guilty

1 week ago - 17 November 2020 | Justice

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKJason Iyambo, who attempted to...

10 children serving jail time

2 weeks ago - 13 November 2020 | Justice

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATINamibia currently has 10 children serving jail time. The youngest juvenile offender is 14 and was convicted of rape. He was sentenced to five...

Supreme Court ushers Kudumo out of chieftaincy

2 weeks ago - 12 November 2020 | Justice

KENYA KAMBOWE RUNDUThe Uukwangali community has to elect a new traditional chief after the Supreme Court last week dismissed an appeal...

Latest News

Kenya's economic growth to rebound...

10 hours ago | Economics

Duncan MiririKenya's economic growth is expected to bounce back next year, the World Bank said on Wednesday, as it emerges from a projected decline in...

Man kills, buries his partner

10 hours ago | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOKATANAA 36-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a body discovered on Wednesday at Omayanga village in the Okatana Constituency, Oshana Region. The...

Swapo holds on by fingernails

10 hours ago | Politics

TOIVO NDJEBELAWINDHOEKSwapo continued from where it left off with its downward spiral in last year's election by having its hold onto key constituencies and local...

Iipinge taps out

10 hours ago | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKOutgoing Walvis Bay Urban constituency councillor Knowledge Iipinge, who has conceded to Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) candidate Florian Donatus Tegako, says his work...

Nigerians to slide into further...

10 hours ago | Economics

Camille Malplat and Louise Dewast More than 200 million Nigerians will slide further into poverty as the coronavirus pandemic has sent oil prices tumbling and...

Hit the ground running

10 hours ago | Opinion

At the time of penning this down yesterday, the tabulation of election results was still under way. It didn’t look like a good day at...

Auto Sueco gunning the future...

10 hours ago | Politics

OGONE TLHAGEwindhoekFrom its humble beginnings in 2004, Auto Sueco Namibia is now a reckoned force in the Extra heavy and heavy commercial vehicle market with...

Ivory Coast raises 1 billion...

10 hours ago | Economics

Ivory Coast's Eurobond sale this week, sub-Saharan Africa's first of the pandemic era, raised 1 billion euros (US$1.19 billion) and was five times oversubscribed, the...

Open defecation remains a problem

10 hours ago | Health

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKIt is estimated that 14% of Namibians living in urban areas practise open defecation, while 77% of people living in rural areas do the...

Load More