Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Women's Court Definition:

An in camera court set up to hear cases involving women.

Women courts are now rare.

They were primarily set up in the early 1900s to hear cases involving women on an in camera basis. This, to prevent women who appeared in court and in financial or emotional difficulty, from being recognized and later stalked by men seeking to take advantage of their vulnerability.

Chapman wrote:

"In the open court men often marked down the names of the women who appeared ... and different girls told us of being met when they came out of jail by these men who, taking advantage of their lonely, often penniless condition, induced them to go into immorality."


  • Chapman, E., "Margaret Patterson, Toronto’s New Police Magistrate", McLean’s Magazine, Toronto, Ontario, February 1, 1922

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