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Family Violence Intervention Court
The Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador houses the permanent St. John's Family Violence Intervention Court (FVIC) as well as the two-year FVIC pilot project in the Stephenville Provincial Court.
FVIC is a specialized criminal court, which in law operates in the same manner as traditional criminal justice courts, but is administered in a manner that attempts to better serve victims and hold offenders more accountable. This specialized court requires the offender to participate in intervention or programming regarding family violence. The goal of the Court is to prevent and reduce incidents of family violence by addressing the root causes of violence through teamwork with key community partners. Working together allows faster access to services for the victim and offender. The Court focuses on improving victim safety and offender responsibility. FVIC sits in St. John's two Wednesday afternoons per month (alternating with the Mental Health Court) and in Stephenville on alternate Wednesday afternoons of the same month.
For the purposes of the FVIC, family violence has been defined as Criminal Code of Canada (CCC) offences committed by the accused arising from a relationship with a significant partner or ex-partner. The key component is the relationship between the accused and the complainant; and living together or cohabitation is not a determining factor. Offences under the CCC are not restricted to those of personal violence but can include offences related to the relationship such as property, theft, breach of a court order or threats to a third party.
FVIC is completely voluntary for the accused. There are two ways in which an accused can appear in FVIC. An accused may be referred directly from their first appearance in court if they wish. The second requires an application to be made by the accused's lawyer asking to enter FVIC. The application must be made in a reasonable time period. As well, the application may not be granted if the accused previously declined an opportunity to participate. For additional information, please refer to the Specialty Court (FVIC) Application Process Practice Note and Schedule A .
More Detailed Information
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