Antigua & Barbuda inaugurates region’s first Family Court, with plans for a permanent home in old Parliament Building

Antigua and Barbuda celebrated the inauguration of the only High Court Division of the Family Court within the OECS today, July 14.

Speaking at the ceremony, Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, said that the family is the cornerstone of every society and, as such, we cannot live without it.

To better serve the family in legal matters, Benjamin says it was necessary to create a dedicated court that caters to their needs in a dedicated space, and with dedicated trained officers, in an environment that is agreeable to both adults and children.

Benjamin says that many benefits will be derived from the Court, including several social services, such as counseling.

The Family Court occupies a large space in the High Court that previously served as the Law Library.

Benjamin notes that this location will not be the permanent home of the court. He claims that other arrangements will be made to have the old Parliament Building become the dedicated space for housing this court.

He adds that the Government is already in discussions with a number of agencies to secure funding.

Antigua and Barbuda is the only OECS jurisdiction, so far, to create a court exclusively to hear family matters.