Barbados Supreme Court
In our last update we discussed expanding a partnership with civil society organizations in Latin America and Caribbean. Recently, we partnered with the Women and Development Unit (WAND) of the University of the West Indies to begin a pilot analysis of TrackGBV in Barbados. This will include the review of 60-100 domestic and sexual violence cases. In a 2009 Report, 21% of murders in Barbados were a result of domestic violence and this increased to 33% of all homicides in 2013. Furthermore, an OEA Barbados Country Report from 2017 identified that extrajudicial (outside of the courts) settlements were taking place and removing the ability of the courts to hold perpetrators accountable. If successful, this pilot would expand to looking at cases over a larger time frame (1-2 decades) to identify trends and efficacy of legislation meant to curtail GBV.
Train the Trainers Program
Due to Covid, our ability to conduct in-person training for the Samoa Ministry of Justice has been hampered. Nevertheless, we have continued in the development of our Train the Trainers program and are now looking at the potential to institutionalize our training with local civil society, like the Samoa Victim Support Group. This would allow us to both build the capacity of a local civil society organization that deals directly with survivors, and also have the benefit of them conducting in-person training with the Ministry of Justice. In these times it is important for organizations to stay nimble and adaptable. Though the training will be delayed till next year, we believe this will ultimately be a stronger outcome.
Samoa & Tonga Case Law Analysis
As part of the training program discussed above, our law firm partners will soon commence an analysis of 400+ cases coming from Samoa and Tonga. The data analysis that comes from the Samoan cases will be included in the training for the Samoa Ministry of Justice, but will also help to build out a Data Dashboard for Advocates that we discussed in the last report. We hope to present the outcomes of this analysis by year’s end. Furthermore, we continue to obtain case law from other Pacific Island jurisdictions, like Palau, Nauru, and Tuvalu, where the number of cases we are able to access is minimal.