Specialist domestic violence courts for child arrangement cases: safer courtrooms and safer outcomes?
journal contributionposted on 10.01.2019, 16:39 by Mandy Burton
Child arrangement cases in England and Wales are dealt with in the ordinary family courts. Whilst a special practice direction is applicable to child arrangement proceedings where there are allegations of domestic abuse, there is no specialist domestic violence court in the family justice setting. However, court specialisation is a feature of the criminal justice system and has been demonstrated to have success in domestic violence cases. Some of the potential benefits of specialisation, such as the provision of safer courtrooms, might be transferable to the family justice setting. Given the well documented problems of ordinary courts dealing with child arrangements in domestic violence cases, this article considers whether court specialisation could provide victims with safer courtrooms and safer outcomes in child arrangement cases.