This project focuses on how the newly re-established Sexual Offences Courts are improving the case outcomes of sexual offences survivors in South Africa.
The Improving Case Outcomes for Sexual Offences Cases Pilot Project (ICOP) aims to identify evidence-based best practices to improving the functioning of the pilot Sexual Offences Courts, improve case flow management, and provide justice sector officials in the pilot courts with the necessary knowledge and skills for improving justice services to sexual offences survivors, particularly for vulnerable groups and LGBTI persons. Through effective governance mechanisms and intersectoral collaborations supported by this project, it is envisaged that these evidence-based best practices could be replicated by the Justice Cluster stakeholders in other courts beyond this project.
The Gender Health and Justice Research Unit (GHJRU) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) was contracted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ&CD), the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the judiciary to conduct a pilot project to pursue the overarching objective of improving case outcomes for sexual offence cases in piloted sexual offences courts and catchment areas.
The overall aims of the project include: (i) Improving case flow management in the pilot SOCs; (ii) Building capacity for improved services at the pilot SOCs, especially for vulnerable groups including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons; and (iii) Creating evidence-based best practices for improved case outcomes.