Provincial Court Specializing in Domestic Violence (Moncton)
In January 2006 the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre (MMFC) joined the government Steering Committee on the development of New Brunswick’s first specialized domestic violence court. MMFC has played a key role in its planning phase by designing an evaluation framework, and is responsible for the evaluation of the Provincial Court Specializing in Domestic Violence Cases. The evaluation will take place over three years and include extensive data gathering, both qualitative and quantitative.
This pilot project, which has been established at the Moncton provincial court, is part of the provincial violence prevention action plan (A Better World for Women: Moving Forward 2005-2010).
The project aims to: “get family violence experts and professionals to work in a specialized court to provide effective interventions to address the complexities of domestic violence cases; and establish ways to support court ordered remedies that support victims and help perpetrators to address their abuse and violence.” 1
Specialized domestic violence court systems are designed to provide solutions to some of the challenges of adequately addressing domestic violence in the justice system. In a specialized process, all domestic violence cases are streamed through a system where the professionals involved are trained and sensitive to domestic violence crime and its dynamics, and are working together to provide an appropriate approach to prosecution, victim protection, sentencing recommendation, and treatment. Specialized courts have been in existence in other Canadian provinces and territories since the early 1990’s. New Brunswick’s is the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada.
The Provincial Court Specializing in Domestic Violence Cases in Moncton began processing cases in the spring of 2007. During the court’s implementation, a three-year evaluation will be conducted by the research team. The purpose of this evaluation will be to describe how the specialized court is implemented, and to assess the functions and processes of the court. Through this project, Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre hopes to contribute to the design and implementation of a specialized system that will truly increase the safety of New Brunswick women and their families.
For more information, contact one of the research team members.
Research Team Members
- Dr. Carmen Gill, Director, MMFC
- Dr. Lanette Ruff
- Dr. Jane Ursel, RESOLVE Manitoba
- Dr. Joseph Hornick, Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, Alberta
*Additional researchers will joined the team over the course of the evaluation.