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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-00861: Rhoda Grant (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 17 June 2016

To ask the Scottish Government whether it considers that domestic abuse only courts provide a better service to victims of domestic abuse and a more focussed and managed criminal justice response to this issue.

Answered by: Michael Matheson 28 June 2016

The Scottish Government considers that it is vital that victims in domestic abuse cases do not have to unduly wait to access justice. That is why we have invested an additional £2.4 million in each of 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.

Responsibility for the management of cases through the courts including consideration of the introduction of domestic abuse courts rests with the Lord President and Sheriffs Principal. The Scottish Government is happy to work with justice partners in assessing what may be best in terms of ensuring access to justice and support for domestic abuse victims in different parts of the country.

More generally, there are an extensive range of measures in force to assist victims of domestic abuse. For example, the introduction of provisions in the Victims and Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2014 means victims of domestic abuse have automatic access to measures such as screens and video links when giving evidence and additional funding of £1.85 million has been provided to rape crisis Scotland to assist support for victims of sexual offences and domestic abuse.