EU JUSTICE - VAST
Within the framework of the European Union Justice Programme, IPoS and its two partners – European Public Law Organisation (Greece) and the University of Sassari (Italy) – are developing a mechanism to enhance the enforcement of the rights of victims of domestic violence at a European level.
By analysing the legal systems of the EU Member States and certain associated countries as to compliance with common provisions laid down in Directives at Union level, the project will provide a full overview of the legal support available.
In the course of present project, a multilingual website is elaborated to make visible the public and private institutions available in these countries for the provision of support to victims.
The concept of psycho-social process accompaniment – as foreseen in Directive 2012/29/EU of 25 October 2012 on minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime – is having a prominent role in present topical sphere. In conclusion, the project envisages the distribution of information of this topic to individuals and organisations engaged in supporting victims.
European Public Law Organisation EPLO, Greece
University of Sassari (UNISS), Italy
Victims’ rights protection and support instruments at European level are a comparably new approach towards a closer Union at level of the internal market and the aim to create a comprehensive area of freedom, security and justice. The Member States have not fully transferred the respective legislative (not to speak of the executive) competence to the EU institutions.
There are two main aspects to consider:
- The increase of cross-border crimes in the EU and neighbouring States (SAP/ENP) requires a strong common approach to counter and minimise negative social and political impacts. The more crime ‘goes international’, the more joint approaches are required on a sound and mutually trusted basis – both for de facto combating crime and making available information on European efforts to tackle the seriousness of the matters adequately.
- The care for victims suffering consequences of crimes both physically and psychologically. This comes along with the rights to support, information, referral, individual assessment, protection, and damages claims for the benefit of victims. Within the group of victims one finds various sub-categories, especially: minors,
women, elderly, migrants and furthermost migrant children, ethnical/sexual minorities, impaired persons, i.e. types of vulnerable individuals. In the protection of rights of victims, both public authorities and private institutions (Civil Society Organisations: CSOs) are active. Currently, neither the public authorities of the
Member States nor the CSOs are exchanging information in a structured manner whenever the rights of victims are endangered or undermined; their activities and measures remain selective and depend on the commitment and knowledge of decision-makers and experts involved in individual cases (e.g. police, judges,
To support, strengthen and ensure realisation of victims’ rights, structured exchange of information and functioning smooth cooperation between competent authorities of the Member States (and potentially with associated States) in the course of criminal proceedings and approaches to safe and support victims of crime are becoming of increasing relevance at European level to make effective existing victims’ rights instruments (laws and mechanisms).
Whereas the EU has undertaken a rather successful transparency approach towards making available information on competent courts in all EU Member States (see: EU Judicial Atlas in Civil Matters, now part of the E-Justice Portal), two aspects are not subject to relevant EU-wide transparency: a) Overview of the Member States’ competent authorities which could be addressed by victims (or their legal representatives) to realise their rights; b) overview of existing civil society initiatives supporting victims (overall, and according to specialisations). Consequently, CSOs and domestic authorities (especially at regional level) are neither ready to provide the utmost support to victims nor are victims comprehensively aware of their rights.
Between December 2017 and November 2018, the project comprised
- an original research on frequency and efficacy of EU laws and mechanisms on protection of victims’ rights based on the selected existing legal instruments of the EU; all instruments are in force and applicable,
- development and implementation of an EU-wide tool (VictimSupport Atlas ‘ViSuAl’).
At first stage, a desk research will identify the relevant aspects as set out in the selected legal instruments, along with a research on their application in practice.
Secondly, to identify the operational aspects and potential problematic issues, relevant authorities of the EU Member States will be addressed/researched to provide (or: generate) compiled information on public contact points for victims, CSOs, lawyers, authorities and especially the Police of other EU Member States.
Thirdly, CSOs will be researched in all Member States and incorporated with their consent (e-mail) in ViSuAl.
Here, associations of domestic CSOs and other multipliers are addressed to facilitate guaranteeing comprehensiveness and precision of information.
Finalised! Here you will find the project: vast.ipos-research.eu
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