Appendix 3 – Comments by the European Committee
on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ)
the adoption by the Parliamentary Assembly of Recommendation 1817 (2007)
– “‘Parliaments united in combating domestic violence
against women’: mid-term assessment of the campaign”, the Committee of
Ministers decided to communicate it to the European Committee on
Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), for information and possible comments
by 31 December 2007.
2. The Bureau of the CDCJ took note of the recommendation of
the Parliamentary Assembly and decided to bring to the attention
of the Committee of Ministers its current work which is in close
connection with the topic addressed in the recommendation.
3. The Bureau of the CDCJ fully supports the promotion of synergies
between the parliamentarian, governmental and local and regional
strands, thus leading to a comprehensive and co-ordinated approach.
4. The Bureau of the CDCJ welcomes the invitation made in the
recommendation to the national parliaments to continue “carrying
out and supervising the implementation of legislative reform as
well as organising awareness-raising activities” to promote priority
measures to combat violence against women, including domestic violence
(paragraph 5 of the recommendation).
5. Such priority measures include “making provision to remove
violent spouses or partners and take out protection orders against
perpetrators”, as well as “guaranteeing effective access to the
courts and to protection measures for victims” (paragraphs 5.4 and
5.5 of the recommendation).
Concerning the legislative dimension of the adoption of those
priority measures to combat violence, underlined in paragraph 6
of the recommendation, the Bureau of the CDCJ will recall the Resolution
No. 1 on victims of crime, adopted by the European Ministers of
which invited the
Committee of Ministers to entrust the CDCJ to study the question
of civil, administrative and other remedies to be made available
to victims of crime.
7. The CDCJ established to this end a Group of Specialists on
remedies for crime victims (CJ-S-VICT). The group has recently finalised
its report which highlights the importance of recognising and facilitating
the exercise of victims’ rights in the civil sphere of justice,
even more so when victims are particularly vulnerable, as victims
of domestic violence often are.
8. The group underlined the need to ensure that remedies, which
have to be provided and be of a sufficient range (compensatory remedies
as well as remedies aimed at protecting the victims such as safety,
protection, barring or exclusion orders) can be effectively used
by the victims, thus raising a variety of issues, such as the provision
of information, the entitlement to free legal aid, the simplification
of procedures, and the benefits of a multi-agency approach.
9. The group furthermore addressed specifically a number of vulnerable
categories of victims, of which are victims of domestic violence,
and recalled the provisions of the Recommendation Rec(2002)5 of
the Committee of Ministers on the protection of women against violence,
which extensively deal with violence perpetrated against women and
comprise a specific section on additional measures with regard to
violence within the family.
10. The group noted from the replies received to a questionnaire
which had been sent to all national delegations of the CDCJ that
states gave a lot of attention to this specific issue, feeding the
group with a large number of examples of good practice, illustrating
the need for a comprehensive approach involving key agencies, the
crucial importance of the protection of the victim and the necessity
of providing specialised assistance.
11. The Bureau of the CDCJ stresses the key role of the CDCJ in
the field of victims, and the importance of the work carried out
this year under its aegis. Taking into consideration the transversal
nature of this topic, the Bureau of the CDCJ agreed to share this
work with other relevant stakeholders, and in particular the Task
Force to Combat Violence against Women, including Domestic Violence
(EG-TFV). The report prepared by the Group of Specialists will furthermore
be published and disseminated to a large scale after having been
presented to the plenary meeting of the CDCJ in June 2008.