Association ESE

ESE

   Association for Emancipation, Solidarity and Equality of Women.

USAID's Women's Legal Protection Project

Some of the concluding observations and recommendations (paragraph 23 а) of the UN Committee that monitors the implementation of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women from 2013 on Republic of Macedonia refer to the need for taking measures that ensure adequate legal protection of women- women victims of violence. In addition, the Committee requests that within two years the state provides and submits written information about any taken steps to ensure quality legal protection of women who are victims of violence.  

Given the adopted recommendations, as well as the strategic determination of ESE to continuously monitor the activities taken by the state in this area, in 2013 we started the process of monitoring the court proceedings on adoption of Interim protection measures about domestic violence. Namely, in a period of 10 months, 84 court cases/168 hearings on adoption of these types of protection measures from domestic violence were monitored and inspected in the following basic courts: Bitola, Kumanovo, Stip, Strumica, Veles, Radovis, Delcevo, Debar, Gostivar and Tetovo. The monitoring of current court proceedings and the inspection of already completed cases resulted in the drafting of an analysis about the work of the civil courts regarding the adoption of interim measures of protection from domestic violence. Several flaws were detected, such as: the procedure for adoption of interim protection measures from domestic violence is not sufficiently promoted as mechanism for protection which the victim can initiate directly through submission of proposal to the court; it is of major concern that part of the reasons stated for not scheduled court hearings are of technical nature and they should not serve as obstacle for protection of the psychological and physical integrity of the victim of domestic violence; in cases where the victim directly submitted the proposal for adoption of interim protection measures to the court, the proposer should pay additional fees for the expert’s opinion during the presentation of evidence; in court proceedings for adoption of interim measures for protection during the evidence presentation that proves the threatening by the other party, one evidence is the listing of phone calls from the telephone operators which can be obtained only if requested by the court; some courts have developed a positive court practice for adoption of proposed interim protection measures after one or two hearings are scheduled for that purpose, while in some courts there were more than three hearings etc. The findings of the analyses were widely discussed and developed during the individual meetings and one joint forum with the representatives of the respective basic courts. The respective findings were used to draft the Handbook on the work of the judges in the procedures for protection from domestic violence that was prepared in cooperation with the USAID Court Modernization Project.

In order to adequately inform the victims about the initiation, course and epilogue of the procedures for adoption of interim protection measures from domestic violence, we prepared the “Guide for interim protection measures from domestic violence“. The Guide was printed in 3000 copies and it was distributed in the basic courts in the country, and also through the ESE Centre for legal assistance to victims of domestic violence. 

The initiated activities for monitoring of court cases shall be essentially complemented in the period from 2015- 2017, when ESE in cooperation with two partner organizations: Open Gate- La Strada Macedonia and the Coalition ”Sexual and health rights of marginalized communities“ shall monitor court cases in criminal and civil proceedings for protection of victims of violence, in particular victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, victims of human trafficking and women who are sexual workers. In the framework of these multiyear activities, besides the court monitoring, we shall also strengthen the capacities of judges and civil organizations to improve the implementation of the existing legislation and application of international standards for protection of women – victims of different types of violence. In that period, we shall continue to provide direct assistance and support to the women- victims of violence and will take joint actions for strategic advocacy for cases of violence on national and international level.

 

 

 

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