GBV COURT TO BE SET MUST HAVE TEETH TO BITE
The move by the government to initiate formation of gender-based violence court to try criminals found to have committed offense-related cases is a step into right direction. It means entirely everything to the victims or survivors of these intended horrifying atrocities targeted against certain individuals in the society.
With that being said, government needs not to fall into temptation of public excitements that skew the good intention of the principles of law which is founded on the century-old fair judgment to both the accused and the accuser. Any legal process riddled with feelings and shrouded with emotions will risk obscuring the common threshold of prove of guilt beyond reasonable doubts.
The intentions should always be an absolute adherence to due process of law because any alternative would set a dangerous precedent that amount to mob justice. They say ‘justice should not only be seemed to be done but justice has to be done’ with clear heart and clear conscience to the satisfaction of the litigants.
For a country that has just emerged from the ashes of years of civil disobedient and cultures which pay deaf ears to gender based violence, it is onus upon the government to make sure justice is dispensed to deter, prevent and scare the would-be offenders for good of society. It is not enough to have a court as a name or an institution but it is absolutely an essential element for the court to have the facilities and capabilities for the witness protection, reparation and avenue accorded to them to testify without fear of retribution.
This process needs to go beyond court deliberations alone, it has to give encouragements to survivors to be able to come out, talk and expose the monsters in the room for public shaming. It could be a family member, a husband, a wife, a colleague, a boss at the work places, bully and so on. They all have to face full arms of law irrespective of their status in the society.