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Domestic violence courts to be affected by closure programme

The court closure programme to be implemented by the government as part its cost cutting measures will lead to the closure of a high number of Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVC), reports the Law Society Gazette. According to the Gazette, as many as one in six of the specialist courts could be scheduled for closure.


Refuge, the domestic violence charity, told the Gazette that the court closures may lead to victims having to travel greater distances to get to court, which may deter them from attending. The charity also expressed its concerns that if alternative courts are used, they might not provide the necessary specialist knowledge and safety features to hear domestic violence cases. 


The Ministry of Justice told the Gazette that: ‘The closure of a courthouse that serves as the venue for a SDVC is not the same as the closure of an SDVC system. Arrangements are being put in place to ensure the work of the SDVC systems continues after these courts have closed.’

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