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Failure to protect women from DV is a breach of Article 3 of the Convention

(2 Posts)
ArranUpsideDown Wed 19-Feb-20 13:38:14

Failure to protect women from domestic violence is a breach of Article 3 of the Convention - an article by Elliot Gold that has substantial implications for the police handling of domestic violence incidents in the UK?

The European Court of Human Rights continues to make it clear that a failure by member states to protect women from domestic violence is likely to cross the high hurdle of the prohibition on degrading and inhumane treatment under Article 3. In the latest decision, Affaire Buturuga v Romania (App No. 56867/15), (available only in French) the Court found a breach of articles 3 and 8 in respect of a failure to investigate adequately and/or take action on complaints of domestic violence and awarded €10,000 general damages.
The two cases contrast with the judgment of Lavender J in MLIA & CLEL v Chief Constable of Hampshire [2017] EWHC 292 (QB) – see our post here. In that case, the allegations were of assault in the form of the Claimant’s partner spitting at her, throwing things at her, pinning her against walls, hitting her three times with his forearm causing bruising to the upper body and face, subjecting her to verbal abuse, pulling her hair, cutting up her clothes, hitting her forehead and throwing water in her face. He also scratched a swastika on the Claimant’s car, harassed her by repeated telephone calls and text messages (some of which included threats of violence) and made threats to kill [192].

Lavender J doubted whether those allegations amounted to a “grave or serious crime” reaching the necessary minimum level of seriousness for the purposes of the Convention [194]. In turn, it might be doubted whether this is in accordance with the ECtHR’s recent jurisprudence – particularly where it refers not to “grave and serious” crimes rather than “criminal acts” of a partner or ex-partner. Volodina said that article 3 covered all forms of domestic violence “without exception” and that even a single blow triggered the obligation to investigate [98]. The clear line of jurisprudence developing from the ECtHR is a low tolerance for domestic violence and liability of the police where they fail adequately to investigate it and take steps to protect persons, particularly women, from it.

Before someone else mentions men - I would be interested to know if this is explicitly about women or about all victims of DV (including children).

OP’s posts: |
CuriousaboutSamphire Wed 19-Feb-20 13:50:18

I'd imagine the point being made is that DV, the vast majority of which is by men against women, is DV at the moment of the first strike and that police deciding it is 'just a domestic/a man getting annoyed' has to stop.

There are no end of fairly recent cases where a woman has been charged and sentenced for DV when the violence is far less extensive than many equally recent cases with non prosecuted male perpetrators where the man went on to kill!

The law needs to be applied evenly, no matter what age or sex of the victim and / or perpetrator is!

That is it very evidently NOT is the problem being highlighted.

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