JUDGES, magistrates and police officers have been training up to get ready for the new Domestic Abuse Act to come into force in Gibraltar later this year.

Minister for Justice and Equality Samantha Sacramento arranged with the Judicial College of England and Wales to carry out workshops recently.

Police detective inspector Cavallo Stone attended a UK conference to tackle violence against women and girls last week.

Minister Sacramento said both the police and judiciary were “a part of breaking the cycle of domestic abuse.”

She enlisted the help of Judge Sue Williscroft, a family judge from Derbyshire who is used to trying abusers and caring for victims and witnesses.

Williscroft spoke about how traumatic it could be for those giving evidence and how it was important to protect the most vulnerable witnesses via video call.

Judge Hina Rai, a former crown prosecutor, was in Gibraltar in person defining domestic abuse and in particular the new offence of ‘coercive and controlling behaviour’.

All of the Supreme Court judiciary, magistrates, Justices of the Peace, local lawyers that deal with family law and some police officers took part in the sessions.

Sacramento said: “I am very happy to have organised these two days of training where different groups of stakeholders were able to receive bespoke training from experienced UK Judges who are experts in the area of dealing with domestic abuse in the courts.”

She thanked the UK judges and all stakeholders who took part.

Chief Justice Anthony Dudley said the training ‘will prove to be of great use’ when the new domestic abuse law comes into effect.

“Both Judge Rai and Judge Williscroft were able to provide our judges and magistrates with practical examples of their experiences with the new law and best practice in dealing with witnesses in such cases,” he added.

The new law will bring Gibraltar up to speed with UK legislation in this area of family law.


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