Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Bellagio Declaration. Conclusions and recommendations 3/3

8. The participants emphasised that domestic laws should be enacted, reformed or interpreted to conform to the international and regional human rights standards on the elimination of sexual violence.  

9. The participants agreed that members of the judiciary2 at all levels have opportunities to develop or apply the law in ways which are consistent with women’s equality in cases involving gender based violence against women, including sexual violence. The participants noted that the actions of judicial officers in interpreting and applying the law may engage the responsibility of their State under international law if their decision and practices result in the violation of the human rights of women. 

10. The participants agreed that members of the judiciary have a responsibility to be aware of applicable human rights norms as stated in international and regional instruments and national constitutions and laws and apply them systematically. It is crucially important for them to be aware of and use the provisions of those instruments, which particularly pertain to women. In countries with a plural legal system, this responsibility applies also to the customary, traditional and/or religious authorities. 

11. The participants agreed that judicial academies, universities and law schools should be encouraged to develop mandatory courses in human rights, which must include a module on the human rights of women and gender-based violence against women. They also recommended that induction or orientation programmes for new judges and programmes of continuing judicial education should mandatorily include material regarding women’s rights and gender-based violence against women. 

12. The participants recommended that States should carry out extensive legal awareness campaigns in the community in relation to women’s human rights and gender based violence against women. 

13. The participants recommended the development of closer links and co-operation across national frontiers by the judiciary for the sharing of information about good judicial practices on the progressive interpretation and application of human rights law standards as they relate to gender based violence against women, including sexual violence. 

14. The participants recommended that special attention be given to processes, practices and procedural matters in pre-trial and trial proceedings/in court proceedings in order to create a conducive, friendly environment that enables access to justice for women and girls and avoid re-victimisation in cases of gender based violence against women, including sexual violence. 

15. The participants recommended that mechanisms be put in place for the collection of judicial data on the number cases of sexual violence and on related homicide cases or gender-related killing of women per year1, disaggregated by the age and sex of the perpetrators, as well as the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim or victims, type of violence, geographical location as well as other relevant factors. Information concerning the prosecution and punishment of perpetrators should also be collected and published

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