N.B. law society urged to require members, articling students to take domestic violence course

Domestic violence death committee makes 15 proposals to government departments and stakeholders

N.B. law society urged to require members, articling students to take domestic violence course
N.B.’s law society is being urged to make its members, articling students take a domestic violence course.

The Domestic Violence Death Review Committee in New Brunswick has posted a report with its recommendations.

Among them is a proposal that the Law Society of New Brunswick include a course for articling students seeking admittance, and a requirement that every LSNB member complete a course on domestic violence as a part of the law society’s Rules on Mandatory Continuing Professional Development.

Other recommendations pertained to providing D/IPV-related education and training to front-line employees, judges, crown prosecutors, family and criminal court lawyers and other lawyers who may represent victims, perpetrators and child victims exposed to domestic/intimate partner violence (D/IPV).

The committee also urged the improvement of the Love Shouldn’t Hurt public awareness campaign and the establishment of a 24-hour helpline for the public to access information on D/IPV.

“Every case in this report is a tragedy that we must learn from and all the information we can gather will help to inform future discussion on the root causes of domestic homicide, and how we can prevent it in the future,” said Justice and Public Safety Minister Hugh J. Flemming in the news release.

The committee helped Coroner Services by conducting a confidential multi-disciplinary review of deaths arising due to domestic violence and by maintaining a database for these cases, detailing the victims, perpetrators and circumstances involved. The fifteen recommendations in the committee’s report aim to assist in the prevention of domestic violence deaths.

The committee pushed for improvements in identifying and addressing escalating domestic/intimate partner violence and risk of lethality, while keeping in mind the importance of issues related to mental illness. The committee also pushed for improvements in the response of support groups.

The committee recommended a review of policies and procedures to cases where the Mental Health Act is applicable.

The committee also asked for a communication to the effect that the mandatory reporting policy will be upheld in domestic violence incidents, whether children are present or not in the home, and for the sentencing of perpetrators to include evidence-based and regionally accessible programs and services.

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