Northern Ireland’s mental health and domestic violence courts delayed by pandemic
Work to establish specialist mental health and domestic violence courts in Northern Ireland has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, justice minister Naomi Long has said.
Mrs Long said scoping work on the pilot mental health court had been “paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic and refocusing of resource to ‘live’ problem-solving justice initiatives”.
Work to establish a pilot domestic violence court at Laganside Court “has also been impacted somewhat by the practical implications that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the court system”.
However, she added: “It is hoped that the [domestic violence court] pilot will commence over the coming months, focusing on improved case progression, processes, and procedures ahead of cases reaching court.”
Mrs Long noted: “Consideration will also be given, following the pilot, to how it could be introduced in others areas of Northern Ireland, in the context of a problem solving justice approach.”