Pilots with the Justice System
In 2009 UN Women partnered with the National Human Rights Commission to establish gender-sensitive procedures for the effective implementation of Thailand’s domestic violence legislation in the Thonburi Criminal Court incorporating CEDAW recommendations. Due to the success of this pilot capacity-building activity, it has since expanded to two more courts in Thailand, with plans to reach approximately 00 courts in 2010.
For the Thonburi Criminal Court, the capacity building module included
- Developing Guidelines – a set of procedural guidelines was developed with input from a core group of judges, for judicial personnel to implement the Domestic Violence Act
- Consultations – A consultative meeting was planned for civil society stakeholders to validate the guidelines and was ultimately approved by a panel of Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justices
- National seminar – a seminar was organized to introduce the DV law and the Thonburi Criminal Court Guidelines to 153 judges, public attorneys, mediators, police investigators, psychiatrists, public health personnel and social workers. The president of the Supreme Court presided over the seminar.
- Courtroom - a model Courtroom and waiting room were designed to create a safe space that respected the privacy and reduce trauma for women survivors of domestic violence. The space ensured that that the women need not face their perpetrators by creating a separation with mirrored panels and a closed circuit camera at the perpetrator’s stand. The model also allows the women to have relatives to sit with them during proceedings.
Finally, the judges, legal officers, other supporting staff and selected mediators connected to the courtroom underwent gender-sensitivity training facilitated by the Teeranat Kanjanauksorn Foundation.
The exercise ensured that judicial personnel of the Thonburi Court were fully equipped with knowledge on judicial guidelines, the environment of courtrooms were sensitized to consider the needs of the victims, and that the court had the capacity to fully implement DV law in accordance with CEDAW guidelines.