With the inauguration of the family and child court at the Thimphu dzongkhag court on Wednesday, the judiciary has fulfilled a mandate of Child Care and Protection Act of Bhutan 2011 (CCPAB).
The judiciary established the specialised courts in December last year.
There are 31 child-related cases and 230 family cases registered with the court as of Wednesday.
The child court, which is adjacent to the Thimphu dzongkhag administration office near the Centenary Farmers Market, has two rooms.
Unlike other courtrooms, the drangpon’s seat in the family and child court is at the same level as the litigants. There are also no masks on the walls or hanging from the ceiling.
A huge one-way glass window separates the courtroom and the other room, which is smaller. Some adult and children books are placed on a shelf. This room will be used to interact with children and alleged offenders alike while the judge looks on through the glass window from her courtroom.
The witness or victim will be allowed direct interaction with the judge, while the accused will be able to view and hear proceedings via a two-way video conferencing in the courtroom.
A press release issued by the judiciary claim that it will allow the child witness to identify the accused on camera.
Supreme Court’s registrar general Tshering Dorji said such facility will also enable the judge to ask questions to the child and the accused without any direct contact. “The child will not have to face the alleged offenders to ensure that the child is not intimidated while the court proceedings are on.”