Domestic violence benchbook developed for Barbadian courts

From left: Domestic Violence Expert Susan Keilitz, retired judge Carolyn Temin and Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson K.A.

U.S. Embassy Bridgetown the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs together with the National Center for State Courts and the Government of Barbados participated in a two-day working group session to develop a Domestic Violence benchbook for the Courts. 

The stakeholders collaborated over two days to develop the initial draft.  The benchbook will outline step-by-step actions to be taken by judges to adjudicate domestic violence cases effectively. The benchbook will also integrate U.S. and international best practices, as relevant and as framed within the legislation and context of the judiciary in Barbados.

Although this benchbook is primarily intended for use by judges, it will also contain information useful to law enforcement officers, court personnel, attorneys and domestic violence service providers. The purpose of this project is to address Barbados and regional laws governing domestic violence during criminal proceedings, any personal protection proceedings and domestic relationship proceedings.