Access to justice for women victims of domestic violence in the Republic of Macedonia
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In the recent decades as a result of feminist efforts, significant progress in addressing the issue of domestic violence on the international scene, as well as, on the national level have been made. However, there are still numerous examples of the legal systems routinely failing women victims of domestic violence. In the Republic of Macedonia the issue of domestic violence emerged on the national agenda in the 1994, and ever since, many projects and actions on government level, as well as, in the non-governmental sector have been initiated. Access to justice as a fundamental right to victims of domestic violence has started to develop in the country. Laws are now enacted and procedures have been changed to better suit victims of domestic violence. Action Plans have been developed, and orders of protection are now available. Police officers have been trained on appropriate responses to domestic violence calls; judges have been trained on the dynamics of domestic violence; and recently, prosecutors and lawyers are more likely to take up cases of domestic violence and to consider it relevant to their prosecution or defense. However, even though these efforts have been rather successful in terms of policy-making and legal framework, victims of domestic violence still face problems throughout the legal system. The problems that hinder the effective access to justice of the victims are concentrated in these areas: the police inaction in submitting a criminal charge to the prosecution office; the prosecution's office dropping the case for lack of evidence or under-qualification of the deed; untimely action of the court in security protection measures issuance demanded by victims; lack of implementation of already issued temporary protection orders, and under-sentencing the perpetrators. In this article, these problems will be explored through analyses: first of the legal system of R. Macedonia regarding domestic violence, based on its responsibility by being a party to binding international legal treaties treating violence against women in generalis, and domestic violence in concreto; and second, through identification of the situation regarding domestic violence and the problems of victims of domestic violence dealing with the justice system by examining specific cases.
- International Review of Law [57 items ]