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Quebec to set up specialized court for victims of sexual and domestic violence

In Quebec, a government committee studying the issue submitted a report stating victims of sex crimes and conjugal violence lack confidence in the justice system. Getty Images

Quebec Justice Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette says the provincial government will set up a special court to hear cases involving sexual and conjugal violence.

Jolin-Barrette said in a news release Thursday he plans to introduce a bill this fall to create a pilot project for the specialized court system, which he said would be a first step toward a permanent court.

A government committee studying the issue submitted a report Thursday stating victims of sex crimes and conjugal violence lack confidence in the justice system.

READ MORE: Quebec to have single prosecutor in domestic, sexual violence cases

The report says victims find the judicial process long, complex and difficult to access, adding that they feel the system lacks empathy and understanding toward them.

It recommends the special court apply criminal law the same way as regular courts but says proceedings should be centred around victims.

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The committee, which studied special courts for sex crimes in South Africa and New Zealand, says support for victims must be better integrated into the criminal justice system.

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