Chief Justice Anthony Gates, Supreme Court of Fiji
ICAAD has continued to make tremendous progress on its innovative new initiative, TrackGBV, a regional sentencing database that provides advocates and judges tools and data to improve access to justice for women and girls in gender-based violence cases. We are developing TrackGBV in conjunction with the University of the South Pacific School of Law, six international law firms, and two technology companies.
From March 2nd -15th, ICAAD traveled to 3 countries (Australia, Vanuatu, and Fiji) and 5 cities (Brisbane, Melbourne, Suva, Nadi, and Port Vila) to meet and partner with local civil society organizations, women’s rights advocates, and government officials. The aim of our trip was to lay the ground work for rule of law trainings for advocates, lawyers, and judges based on the data from TrackGBV, to ensure the judiciary would be more transparent in providing access to key domestic violence and sexual offense cases, and to meet with Embassy officials from the U.S., Britain, and Australia to discuss support of the initiative.
Here is a list of next steps based on conversations with some of the local stakeholders:
- University of South Pacific (Port Vila, Vanuatu): Develop 6-week human rights training program focused on gender bias in the judiciary
- University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia): Identify students who may participate in-person or virtually in the human rights program at USP
- Vanuatu Women’s Centre (Port Vila, Vanuatu): Training on ICAAD’s methodology for looking at gender bias in domestic violence and sexual offence cases and the integration of the VWC team into the human rights training program
- Police-Justice Support Unit and Ministry of Justice (Port Vila, Vanuatu): Work to get the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in Vanuatu to make magistrate level cases publicly available. Domestic violence cases first go through the magistrate courts.
- Regional Resource Rights Team (RRRT – Suva, Fiji): Understand how we can assist their ongoing work with magistrate training in Tonga and Solomon Islands
- Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM – Suva, Fiji): Assist FWRM on their collaboration with Medical Services Pacific (MSP) on case-law analysis and the importance of documentation at health centers in GBV cases
- Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (Suva, Fiji): Met with Justice Gates to explore possibility of judicial training and procuring case-law data for TrackGBV
On behalf of the entire ICAAD team, thank you for your ongoing support!
Vanuatu Women's Centre- Lynrose, Margret, and Vola
Univ. of Queensland- Faculty, Admin., Students