04 February 2014

JSMP launches report on the Law Against Domestic Violence: Obstacles to implementation three years on

ETLJB 04/02/2014 - On 12 December 2013 the Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP) launched a thematic report entitled ‘The Law Against Domestic Violence: Obstacles to implementation three years on’.

This report is aimed at reviewing the implementation of the Law Against Domestic Violence in Timor-Leste during the last three years, specifically relating to indictment, sentences and execution of sentences in cases involving domestic violence.

This report was compiled and published based on data obtained through monitoring conducted by JSMP between July 2010 and June 2013, data from the Vulnerable Person’s Unit (VPU) of the Timor-Leste National Police as well as case studies and interviews with judicial actors.

During the three years that followed the promulgation of the Law Against Domestic Violence, JSMP observed 352 cases in the four district courts (Dili, Baucau, Suai and Oecusse) and found that in most domestic violence cases (71% of the cases observed by JSMP) the public prosecutors charged defendants with simple offences against physical integrity as set out in Article 145 of the Penal Code.

The report concluded that the way cases involving domestic violence were prosecuted often did not reflect the nature and seriousness of the crimes that were committed.

“The report offers perspectives/views that will contribute to public discussion with judicial actors from the justice sector, academics and law students, in relation to how to ensure the proper interpretation and implementation of the provisions in the Law Against Domestic Violence and the Penal Code, said the Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio.

The report is based on facts observed by JSMP during the last three years as well as JSMP views and analysis of the provisions that have been applied in cases of domestic violence and recommendations for public prosecutors, the courts and other relevant institutions.

“JSMP recognizes the extraordinary effort and commitment from the judicial actors, however JSMP continues to encourage open discussion on the aforementioned articles or provisions to ensure that the Law Against Domestic Violence has the capacity and function of reducing and combating domestic violence, said the Executive Director of JSMP, Luis de Oliveira Sampaio.

Those invited to participate included judicial actors, women’s organizations, and government institutions such as the Secretary of State the Promotion of Equality (SEPI), the Minister of Justice, national MPs, PNTL, F-FDTL, lecturers and students of law, donor institutions and the media.

Through this opportunity JSMP wishes to express its appreciation to the donor institutions who have supported the launch of this report, such as Australian Aid through the Justice Support Facility, the Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta, UNICEF, UNDEF, the Embassy of Finland in Jakarta and other donors who have funded the JSMP monitoring program during the last three years, such as the Asia Foundation and Misereor. Source: Press Release 11 December 2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

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