DOJ works with National Judicial Institute to provide judicial training on partner, family violence

Department of Justice Canada providing over eight hundred thousand dollars

DOJ works with National Judicial Institute to provide judicial training on partner, family violence

The Department of Justice Canada is providing nearly $870,000 to the National Judicial Institute (NJI) for judicial training on intimate partner violence (IPV) and family violence in the family justice system.

The judicial training will consist of French and English online courses on topics related to IPV and family violence, such as myths and stereotypes, barriers victims face when reporting violence, and services available to victims. It will be available to judges with a particular emphasis on supporting provincial and territorial court judges who hear most cases in the family justice system.

According to the government release, IPV and family violence are considered serious public health issues that can have long-term consequences for victims if left unattended.

“Canadians should have the confidence that the justice system works well and that cases are decided fairly and respectfully,” Minister of Justice David Lametti said. “Continuing judicial education on IPV will help improve the family justice system by ensuring that judges have access to training that is relevant to contemporary research and the social context of IPV and family violence.”

Recognizing that certain populations will be at greater risk of IPV and family violence, the course will also reveal the impacts of intersectionality on access to justice. It will touch upon Indigenous women’s experiences as well as the impact of colonization, residential schools, intergenerational trauma, systemic violence, and other barriers marginalized groups face when seeking social or legal services.

For instance, women represent most victims of intimate partner homicides in Canada, accounting for 80 percent of people killed by an intimate partner between 2014 and 2020. Although Indigenous women only make up 5 percent of Canada’s female population, they form 22 percent of all women killed by an intimate partner in the same period.

The course will also cover the 2019 amendments to Canada’s federal family laws related to divorce, parenting and enforcement of family obligations to promote the best interests of the child.

“We are appreciative of this opportunity to develop French and English training for Canadian judges on intimate partner violence in the family justice system,” NJI chief judicial officer Tom Crabtree said. “The NJI has a long history of supporting the judiciary with education on the core skills, essential competencies, and the range of substantive and social context knowledge required to serve the public and support the administration of justice.”

The NJI is an independent, non-profit, judge-led organization that provides continuing education for federally, provincially and territorially appointed judges throughout Canada.

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