Special court to hear sexual crime against children a good move

Starting this month, a special criminal court to hear cases of sexual assault against children will start to operate. This is a move in the right direction. Child victims of sexual assaults should not be treated the same as adults.The level of trauma, on top of physical hurt experienced by victims at such a tender age is many times worse. Those handling such cases must be well trained and are able to empathize with child victims. This is crucial not only to ensure that justice is served, but also the long-term interests of the children are taken care of.

For the time being, the court will cases from Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. Plans are afoot to introduce the courts nationwide in stages. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak last month launched the court, believed to be the first of its kind in South East Asia.

The court includes Court Recording and Transcription (CRT) facility, child-friendly witness rooms and waiting rooms, equipped with video-link facilities, as well as disabled-friendly tools.

 The court was launched after Parliament passed the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 last April. 


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