Scotland's capital city is set to have the first court that specialises in domestic abuse cases.
Edinburgh Sheriff court is set to pilot the domestic abuse court which, it is hoped, will see an improvement in the way that domestic abuse cases are dealt with in the current criminal justice system.
That the court will be a domestic abuse specialist essentially means that prosecutors, PLOs, advocacy workers, and Sheriffs will themselves be specialists in the field, and will work as a collective.
Adrian Cottam, who led the development of the pilot on behalf of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, said:
“Domestic abuse has a significant impact on victims, their families and our society. We know it is under-reported but also recognise the difficulties victims have in finding the strength to come to court, often after years of abuse. This pilot will allow the prosecution and our Victim Information and Advice service to continue to show its strong response to this crime and build a better service to victims through multi-agency specialist working.”
The court's first case will be in the new year, and it is hoped that dramatic improvements in support of victims of domestic abuse will be seen, and that those responsible will receive more effective punishment.