7.10 Specialist Domestic Violence Courts

Specialist domestic violence courts were established as part of a pilot initiative in 2006. They represent a partnership approach to domestic violence by the police, prosecutors, court staff, the probation service and specialist support services for victims. Magistrates sitting in these courts are fully aware of the approach and have received additional training. These court systems provide a specialised way of dealing with domestic violence cases in magistrates' courts. They refer to the approach of a whole system, rather than simply a court building or jurisdiction. Agencies work together to identify, track and risk assess domestic violence cases, support victims of domestic violence and share information better so that more offenders are brought to justice.